There was a bit of a panic on Monday morning this week, as storms were forecast for the following day. Some people hadn’t yet started the harvest, and they just sat tight and hoped that the rains would not be too heavy. Others had nearly finished and were keen to get the rest of their grapes picked before the rains came – memories of the hail storm just before the vintage two years ago die hard.

Some people use machinery – big brutes driving through their vineyards, gobbling up the grapes at speed.

Others, such as Lizzie and Ali in our village, enlist the help of willing friends and go at a more leisurely pace.

They only have a tiny vineyard and just had their Cinsaut left to pick – Cinsaut can also be a table grape and I have to say that these were deliciously ripe.

It was a sunny morning, but you could see the clouds looming in the distance and indeed by 11 o’clock that evening the thunder had arrived, but fortunately no hail, and no damagingly heavy rain.

The grapes were in the trailer within a couple of hours, even with a coffee and croissant break, and into the crusher. They are now gently bubbling in the cellar.


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