01 March, 2002

Workin' in the rain

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Heavy, rainy sky above the Montagne de Reims. It has looked like this in some days now.

The skies hang heavily above the Montagne de Reims. The rain pours down. This week has so far been very wet. The vineyard workers are busy in most of the light hours of the day anyway. We are not the only ones, who are busy, busy, busy.

The guy who prunes for us has not been in the vineyard more than one morning this week. Rain, he says. An acceptable excuse, if you have the time you need to finish anyway.

But since there are still many many hours to spend in the plot followed by more hours to attach the vines of both plots, it is not a great plan to stay at home, even on a rainy day. Said in the nice way. Simply because everything still points to the fact that King Winter and his faithful esquire Snowman Frost this year are up against stronger forces than they can handle. And miss Thaw did not even make it to Champagne this year, before spring was already busy spreading its charms.

A bit less than 80 percent of our cordons in Loisy-en-Brie are still not pruned. Alain has finally obtained some of the heavy rain equipment for the guy. He is supposed to pick it up today together with a lot of admonitions about the necessity of working every day.

Binding has begun
More professional vineyard workers defies the rain and work many hours every day, Their white vans are parked along the dirt roads everywhere. Some of them still prune - but most vineyards are finished now according to what I see from my car driving through. The next thing to do is to attach.

Yesterday I drove quite some kilometes, first on the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims, then I crossed the mountain and drove along the southern slope and finally through the Côte des Blancs. Everywhere I saw workers attaching, that is binding the branches to the low wires with small pieces of metal thread winded with raffia.

It is almost two years ago, I tried to attach for the first time. That was in mid April - just to compare.

Frostplots are finished
The road through the Côte des Blancs is surrounded by vineyards on almost flat land. Plants, that are more exposed for the danger of frost, than those on the slopes, because warm air rise and leaves the cold air at the bottem. Still most of them have now been pruned. A month before normal.

This year noone has placed the little lamps, that help the vines to stay warm during cold frost nights. They are normally fully visible from the road between the villages Oiry and Vertus at this time. This year nobody has bothered. No yet anyway.

Instead everybody work through. That is everybody apart from our guy, who takes life a bit too easy for our tastes. We hope that the rain equipment - big, with holes and heavy - will motivate him. Hmmm.

På dansk

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