18 July, 2002

Washing the vats

She used to crawl into the vats herself to clean them. Today she leaves one of her employees with the job.

"Well, they're sort of big too," her sister explains with a grin, that sparkles in her eyes and is just an inch from pawky.

"Fortunately, it is not that often, the vats need to be cleaned."

A vat contains a couple of cubic metres, I would think. The entrance is not much bigger than 50 times 50 centimetres, so you'll have to be able to sqeece your body into a rather small size to make it into the dark. That is, if your size exceeds that of a garden gnome.

But this lady has common sense in the necesserary proportions, so of course she did the job herself with a bucket of water in one hand and whatever in the other, whenever the vats, where her Grand Cru-grapes fermentates to wine, has needed a loving hand and sponge.

I just never finish adding new details to my fascination by the rather rustic details, I bump into when it comes to the production of champagne. It may be more sophisticated in the big, guilded halls but not always that charming.

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