Harvest nerves

I’ve arrived in France, where the summer is still in full swing. The daytime is hot and the evenings balmy – quite the difference to the crisp fall weather Stockholm was having when I left. I spent my first day at a harvest party at the Domaine Virgile Joly in the Languedoc. It’s funny how I go to a teeny village in another country and end up meeting people I know through twitter or email only. There was Louise Hurren, Ken Payton, Virgile himself (who invited me a long time ago through twitter to come and visit) and Andrew Jefford (who was the reason I ended up at this particular party). Andrew is possibly my favorite wine writer because of his philosophical and observant takes on trends in wine, not to mention his beautiful, almost poetic command of language. It was a pleasure spending some time talking to him face to face. Though in writing this post, late at night before bedtime, I feel I go against one of the things he said about blogging also requiring more attention and effort in order to be good, in order to be read years after the fact, in order to serve the readers more than the writer. Alas, I beg forgiveness and write nevertheless.

I want an account of how I feel about this harvest idea now, the eve before it commences. I’m nervous. Worried. What if I’m too much of a wimp? What if my knees get tired or my back gets sore – will I give up? What if I end up with all kinds of blisters and chafes, and end up whining about it like a spoiled kid? Sunburn? Heatstroke? Seriously, what if I need to go to the loo when we are in the middle of harvesting a large vineyard miles from the winery??? It feels like a test of my physique and my character, and tonight, this computer-bound city girl is not sure she will pass.

My host just told me we will start picking at 6.30 am to keep the grapes cool and fresh. I only get up before 8 am if I have a flight to catch. This will be interesting indeed… Lights out!

PS made some fig jam from the garden of Bernard Duseigneur, the owner of the Domaine Duseigneur where I am harvesting. Such a luxury!

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