|red wine grapes yet to be harvested|
Right now it is a busy month for the vignerons with the vendange going full tilt. We don't notice it here in Charnizay. Apart from one small outpost near Bossay sur Claise all the vinyeards of the Touraine AOC are well to the north of us.
There is an added bonus to the vendange activities in September though: you can buy 'Bernache'. It's a name particular to the Loire which is given to the fresh fermenting grape juice. It is only available at this time and is a real treat. About 5% alcohol, it is cloudy, often very unctuous and sweet. As it matures it changes, losing a bit of its sweetness and gaining a vague hint of the wine it will become. Vague for ordinary people like us. Expert vignerons can tell from the older Bernache what their wine will be like--but it takes a trained palate & experience. Sometimes you can find Bernache in your local supermarket; we go to the Co-op at Francueil and buy a few bottles of wine as well.
|bottles of bernache|
|Niall: vine photography in action|
[apologies for the fuzziness of bernache bottle pic. We were in a rush as the bottles were going to a friend]