Four hours. Ten people. 21 rows of organic pinot gris. 1,500 kg of grapes picked and delivered. A slightly aching back. 

My cousin, who's a wine grower in Alsace, invited me to one of his vendanges days, so I could complete my little photo project. I can't believe that in the 21 years of growing up in Alsace, I never participated in this...

The region suffered a two-month draught this summer and the resulting harvest is about 1/3 less than it would have been. However, the quality of the wine, with the intense concentration of flavors and sugars is higher, as measured by the 'refractometer' at delivery: 14.2 alcohol content. So all and all, my cuz was happy :)

What impressed me today was how hard the work is and how quickly your back starts tightening, but also how convivial a job it is, as you move up and down the vines, chitchatting with your neighbors, filling the buckets, asking for new buckets and just having fun. We had a couple of breaks with all sorts of goodies, kindly prepared by my cuz' wife (featured smiling in the lead pic). An experience to be repeated next year, for sure! :)

So next time you pick up a pinot gris, remember all the people who had a part in producing that wonderful wine :)

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