Whatever the weather, morning frost, rainy day, or cold wind, day after day, hooded men and women work in vineyards. What happen so important in winter to be there ? Pruning is a key work in vineyards life. Each gesture is important as it really engages the grow up of the vine, the quality of the harvest…
It’s quite unusual in Cognac region to have such low températures withing the day : -7°C or -9°C. I presume that the scandinavian and canadian friends of the blog will just smile and think that it’s out of mind to say it’s cold, but for us, it is ! A white coat on the roofs and landscapes till noon, is quite exceptionnal. To be trendy, I putted on my white confortable coat.
Delicate fragances of vanilla, tostaed bread, almond floating in the air, no doubt I am close to the “bousinage” workshop in Tonnellerie de Jarnac : the kingdom of wood and fire, craftsmanship, and barrels ballet, a fascinating moment. Let’s go together !
31 very intense days, as usual on december, to be ready for Christmas and new year holidays. Back in pictures on some highlights.
Since this first days or this new year, winter is there in cognac region, with its white mornings, frozen fields and vineyards, frozen grass glittering in sun like today, in short, a “temps de saison” as we say in french. And an opportunity to take photos and share them.
Far away from the hustle and bustle of our working lives, cognac needs to take its time, all its time. A generation of winegrowers works for the upcoming one. Suffice it to say that it’s light-years of our connected daily life, and thus, should be more emphasized, a subject of never-ending story.
He/she wakes up early morning, generally between 4 and 6, each day, during the distillation time. As for a single-handed round world race, he/she crosses non-stop several weeks or months depending from the quantity of vine to be distilled. Even if modern facilities such as computer controlled devices, and gaz heating allow to sleep at home and no more in the distillery, the distiller takes great care of each distillation, trusting on his/her five senses.
Day and night, till march 31st, the winegrowers who are also distillers, live according to the tempo of theirs stills and the process called “double chauffe” or “repasse” in french i.e, two separate heatings, in a special “charentais” copper still. The distillation is a particular moment which appeals to emotional senses of sight and smell : a sweety temperature near the stills, the slow flow of the eau-de-vie, and the subtle scents diffusing in the air.
The scottish photograph, Mark Unsworth, is the guest of Cognac Museum till mid january. Famous specialist of food and beverage world, and more specially of the distilleries of Islay island where he lives and works, he has brought a fresh look on cognac distilleries of small properties. And for him, it has been the story of a nice discovery. Continue reading In the privacy of cognac distilleries