The grapes are in, the harvest was good…

September 28, 2019 at 12:25 pm 2 comments

Pinot noir grapes, Champagne

The grapes are in, and despite a very hot, dry summer, in the end it was a good harvest. Not fantastic, like last year, but good. Good enough. Pretty good! Thank goodness!

The lingering scent of grape juice in the air has lessened, the clanking and clanging late into the night coming from the pressoir, the enjambeurs heading up into the hills before dawn and coming back down around sunset, all of that has stopped. The pressoir is closed up, the field near our house where the vendengeurs and their families were camping is empty again. The pickers have moved on to other vineyards, some of them going as far away as California.

I had the opportunity to join my neighbors who were feeding 24 hungry pickers a bountiful lunch one day during the harvest. It brought back fond memories of when I did the vendange right here in Essoyes as a young woman and was discovering France for the first time.

Now the fall routine is well underway: the kids are back in school, and for adults the preparations for fall and winter have begun.

And finally, this week we have had some badly-needed rain. Pshew!

More to come soon. For now, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, here’s wishing you a bonne continuation…

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and of literature who divides her time between the U.S. and France. She is the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, and is currently working on her next book, a literary memoir entitled “A Long Way from Iowa.” 


Entry filed under: About Essoyes.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. betweenmeandthee  |  September 28, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Janet, I love your book and gave it to my French classmates. There are 6 of us including our teacher. We are all les femmes d’un certain age and having a ball! Where in Iowa are you from in Iowa? We were in Waterloo where I went thru elementary school. My momma was French so grandparents and cousins all thru my life French. Bless you keep writing!

    Sent from my iPhone


  • 2. Janet Hulstrand  |  September 29, 2019 at 5:17 am

    Thank you so much for these kind words, and thank you for buying Demystifying the French! (In fact thank you for buying a bunch of copies, wow!) I grew up in Minnesota, in a suburb of Minneapolis. It is my grandmother who grew up in Iowa, and my story begins with her story. She grew up in a tiny little town in northeastern Iowa named Bonair, near Cresco. I’m hoping to get back to work on A Long Way from Iowa very soon. Please greet your “classmates” and your teacher for me, and keep having a ball! 🙂


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