CHATEAU DE SAUMUR ‘FETE DE VENDAGE’ 2013 – The first Pressing.
We took a break to go to the annual grape harvest in Saumur attended by lots of people, particularly families, for the start of the 2013 Vendage at the Château de Saumur. It’s quite unbelievable that after all these years of living here we have never visited this fete before!! In a medieval ambiance it started with the procession of Confréries Viticole Saumurois dressed in their colourful robes and decorative hats. Trumpets played as they started to march from the Chateau, over the wooden bridge across into the fields of vines and everyone joined in behind the procession.
When we reached the vines, the Master of Ceremony climbed onto the waiting horse drawn cart loaded with three large wooden barrels to carry the grapes to the winery, and announced the start of the 2013 Vendage ! There was a big cheer and then we were off!!! Great!
Everyone scuttled about, grabbed the buckets and then started to walk up and down the rows slowly cutting grapes It was fun and lovely to see the little children running about taking the grapes which their parents had picked and taking them up to waiting cart. I asked Brian if he wanted to join in. He grumbled that he’d done enough of that to last a lifetime, thank you very much.
When the barrels were heaving with grapes, the horse pulled the cart away and the procession of Confréries Viticole started walking back to the Chateau, but this time they were merrily singing!
In the Chateau courtyard, the grapes were unloaded from the cart and tipped into the pressoir. After some time, the juice finally started to flow and we were then all offered a taste of juice. This was the moment we had waited for all morning … ‘THE GRANDE TASTING’. The juice was beautifully sweet – nice to think we were now enjoying the fruits of our labour! Just brilliant!
A votré Sheila
Sheila and Brian