So here’s a recep of my first full week here at Clos Bastè since I don’t update that often.
Wednesday: we removed all the pumps (not sure if it’s the same word in English or not) from the vines. If you don’t know what they are, they’re these pesky and unwanted stalks that are growing at the bottom of the vine. (My terminology is really bad, sorry) so basically you go around every. single. vine. and remove them with shears. Since they’re at the bottom, it means you’re either bent over for about five hours of the day or you’re doing squats for five hours, your method of choice. It only gets better when the sun starts to blaze (102 degrees that day) and the bees start to swarm you. Obviously I love this part of the job. Anyways, we are something delicious for lunch and then went to work in the barn where Phillipe carries out the enology part of owning a vineyard/winery. The girls and I and Andreas all helped with packaging of the bottles that day.
Thursday: we worked again at the vines removing the pumps. There’s 10 hectares of vines so this takes a few days to complete. Had lunch, no work for the rest of the day.
Friday: day three of pumps. Had lunch, relaxed and went to give some tastings at a small local market in the evening.
Saturday: INDEPENDENCE DAY. But really know one cares about that in France. I hung out with the girls for the day and we all went to a basketball banquet for the teams that Claire and Manon play for. It was a little awkward at first being introduced as the American and not being able to tell people about myself because my French is terrible. So who knows what all these strangers actually thought of the mute American girl. It got better though and I spent a lot of time playing with Amelie and running around with her causing a scene. We had a delicious dinner of finger foods and duck hearts (I couldn’t bring myself to try them) then there was dancing. The later that the night went on the more I realized I was almost at a Fourth of July party because there were red and blue decorations, loud music, beer, finger foods, and cotton eyed joe was playing. Surprisingly enough, the French have a lot of dances that they do in groups (like how the U.S. does the cha cha slide or Cupid shuffle). Manon and I danced to cotton eyed joe and then Chantal came out of nowhere and took me to dance with her to some song in French that I think the objective was to look like a dancing penguin. We had a good night overall.
Sunday: Phillipe, Claire, and I went to a blueberry farm to a farmers market to sell some of the wine. This was my first time doing something like this and I wasn’t sure 1. How popular it would be at the market 2. How popular Phillipe’s wine was/is. The answer to both is very. The market was overflowing with people from about 10-3 and from my opinion, Phillipe was making a killing. Also noted, the French buy wine in huge quantities. Anyways, Claire and I chowed down on some blueberries all day and packaged up the various orders. I greeted people as they approached our booth and then they would babble something to me in French. Luckily, I didn’t get any disgusted looks when I said I was American and only spoke a little bit of French. Phillipe told some people all about what I was doing in France and they seemed impressed, I just wish I could have told them myself. Sometime during all of this we had lunch that included patè, escargot, and white cheese sorbet. All very different (the sorbet especially), but tasty. Claire and I sat next to the woman who was playing music and she was coincidentally from New York and told me she took a summer trip to Europe and never came back. She’s lived in France for twenty years now. Just in case you were curious.
Monday: no work, but still an early day. We woke up at 8 to take Amelie and Manon to various aunts and uncles houses because they’re going camping for the week with their cousins. I also met Chantal’s parents who speak no English just like her. Luckily I was able to make out some of what they were saying so that I could somewhat impresse them with the fact I wasn’t completely ignorant in terms of the French language. Claire and I then went with another aunt to her house and then to her grandpas house to go swimming for the day. We had a delicious lunch and spent the day by the pool. We had a pretty long drive home and stopped to have McDonalds for dinner. I asked if they took me there because I was American, but they said they loved it as much as Americans do. So in total I went to 4 different homes, met four aunts, three uncles, and two grandparents in addition to the family I’ve already met. They’re all so close even though there’s so many of them and it’s really adorable in my opinion.
Gotta get to sleep so I can cut some pumps bright and early tomorrow!