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Hand-Picking Old Vineyard Carignan in Languedoc

Natalie Trent - La Dolce Vita B&B, Azille

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In the Minervois, within the region of the Languedoc-Roussillon, old vineyards get hand-harvested. As modern day tools and machines have taken over most of the harvesting these days in the newer vineyards, the older vines are still hand-harvested as they were planted much closer together and new tractors literally won't fit between them.

So, as a group of friends and family we get together and help out, a fun day lasting from morning to later afternoon ! A few weeks ago, on a beautiful and sunny morning, 8am to be exact, we all met up at the vineyard's family home. We were offered breakfast of dry sausages, baguettes, wine, blood sausage, juice and coffee amoung other delicious morsels to fuel our day.

We went off to the vineyard, were given buckets and clippers, a few instructions and off we went down the rows snip...snip...snip...into buckets, then into bigger buckets on the backs of a few grape "mules" the bunches went.

Eventually we picked the vines clean being left only with sticky, purple hands... ...Apertif followed the final dump, then a lunch fit for hungry harvesters ensued and we imbibed in last year's harvest to celebrate. Thanks to our hosts for a great day!

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