All in all, I’d had enough of picking fruit, I thought as I aimed the grapes into the bucket. Especially today when I still had suitcases to pack. I tugged on a bunch, regretting that I hadn’t thought to bring the secateurs with me and wondered if it was worth making a trip back down to the house for them.
The purple grapes were so ripe that they had started to dry and fall off, but the white ones remained glued to the vines as though Bacchus himself were clinging to them. Although why he should want them was beyond me. The variety of grape, combined with the high altitude and lack of maintenance in the vineyard, produced a wine that had the delicate aroma of window cleaner and the subtle taste of battery acid. My throat constricted at the thought.
My husband’s love for his home grown, home brew was directly disproportionate to the amount of time he spent looking after the vineyard. Grass grew knee high and the vines were interspersed with the odd walnut tree or bush. “Be lucky if we get 100 litres this year” he grumbled to his father, the second biggest consumer of Château Revolting. The leaves on the vines were already turning yellow and the grapes had started to shrivel. We should have picked them a fortnight ago I thought as I reached the end of my row. I hauled my bucket over to the tractor and emptied it into the boxes.
Strolling down to the house later, I was grateful that this year’s grape harvest had lasted a mere 2 hours. I would have time to get some packing done after all, I thought, wondering if the wine in Auvergne would be any better…