|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]
Interesting I have never heard of Bernache. I saw a field down the road at the weekend busy with crowds of pickers. There is not a huge amount grown around us, they are mostly a bit further South or West toward Cognac. Diane
So do you keep this Bernache or drink it fresh?
I have never seen or heard of Bernache ~ perhaps we're never around at the right time.
We walked up to the château at Etableau, along the lane that goes behind it, and there were a few rows of vines there. I wondered whose they were as you don't see many vines in the area.
(PS word verification is PEISTH !!)
@Diane - it seems to be particular to the Loire region. The co-op at Francueil advertises its arrival. You do -occasionally- see it elsehwere. It's then called 'vin neuve'
@Gaynor - you drink it fresh and keep it in the fridge. It doesn't keep long.
@Jean - it's only available during the grape harvest -- so September.
The fuzzinezz wazn't down to the Bernache then!!! ;-)
@Tim - LOL not this time!
France really is a never-ending learning experience!
There used to be...probably still are.. bernache and chestnuts celebrations.
Lovely combination...icy bernache and hot chestnuts straight off the brazier.
@The Broad - you might be able to get it in the Quercy region which is your neck of the woods I think. If they have it they'll probably call it vin neuve.
@fly - couldn't agree more! Last year we went to the fete/brocante des marrons in Genillé and had exactly that. Looking forward to going again this year on 16 Ocotber.
Remind me to visit in September too ;-)
Lovely photographs and interesting to read too - hadn't heard of this before!
@Jane - it's very much a Loire thing. Pretty sure you'd like it :-)
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