09 April, 2018

Work lines

Sunshine, a bit of wind, nice temperatures above 20 degrees Celsious.

Finally, the soils of our vineyards were dry enough to allow the good old veteran to be back in business. And draw some lines.

Wet soils
Our enjambeur (special tractor for the width of Champagne vineyards) is an old model, a veteran basically, and not very powerful.

Thus it takes certain conditions for it to manouevre well in the vineyards.

And until now, the soils were simply too wet.

(Remember talks of floodings in Northern France this winter? It's drying out but only now several months after).

Precision work
The ploughing tools of the machine work between the vines in the line as well as on the side of the line of vines.

This removes whatever grows naturally in the plot. Leaving the vines with all the good stuff and little competition.

At least for a while :-)

The task demands quite some concentration of the driver in order not to destroy the vines and the different sets of wires.

Now and later
This far, Alain managed to deal with almost half of our three hectares this sunny weekend.

Only in the first part of the lines - both ends - the enjambeur does a mediocre job. To finish off nicely, we follow up with manual tools as well.

Later, we'll live with much more plants as it's simply impossible to keep them away.

However, we don't want anything to climb in the vines like the bindweeds for instance.

Between the vines, we leave whatever grows naturally. It protects against erosion.

However, in years of drought, these growths also compete with the vines for minerals and water. Sometimes we remove them too.

For the time being it's left. And we move on to the next part.

06 April, 2018

Springtime treat

When the lumpfish roe is in season, you can get your own bite of paradise on earth.

A treat for the weekend or whenever... nice on mondays as well. Just be sure you have the time to do the blinis yourself.

They are are made with buckwheat, it happens to be a regional cereal in my childhood Danish island of Funen.

The red onion are less sharp in taste. Not too many since the idea is to combine with champagne.

The perfect match in your glass
We think the pink Rosé Assemblage is a great companion for the fish eggs.

As it is based on the Chardonnay grape, this champagne adds nicely to the taste of the fish rather than taking over entirely as is the risk with Pinot.

On top the pink colour fits the fish nicely and it is just what you need when springtime is young and we wait for the buds to burst.

The recipies
Now what is left is the cooking.

Here is your recipie in English or in Danish.

You do find this kind of fish eggs in Ikea warehouses... the difference between this and the fresh product is the same as all other products. It's obviously very different when you buy it fresh... sometimes the world is not perfect and we still carry on living in it. But save the champagne for the fresh stuff.

05 April, 2018

A crush in Crochettes

This is the end-of-story for the cut-offs.

A tractor crushes the branches after the pruning.

The pieces of wood will be broken down by water, wind and weather in general.

Like this the branches will contribute to maintain the mulch in the plots rather than adding to our emissions of CO 2.

Goodbye to burning
For years we have burned the branches we cut off while pruning as we are not equipeed ourselves with a tractor that can crush efficiently.

However, now we opt for crushing as

  • 1) this maintains the layer of mulch
  • 2) we can buy this service from someone who has a suitable machine
  • 3) we adapt our work to lower CO 2 emissions whenever possible
  • 4) disease does not seem to spread more with this practice

We may need to invest in warmer clothes though. Burning the branches directly in the vineyards is also a way you may keep yourself warm.