‘Grandes Crues’ – Bordeaux a Wine Region Underwater

Bordeaux’s vineyards begin the year ‘underwater’ along with much of Europe. Both the banks of Bordeaux’s rivers, the Garonne (here at Langon south of Bordeaux) and the Dordogne, have failed to contain the swollen rivers. Both the quays in Libourne (Dorgogne) and Bordeaux (Garonne) were flooded this last week. The amount of rain each day, which continues to fall, is more equivalent to the monthly average. Very high tide coefficients has not helped. Storms have moved north to Britanny, but more rain is forecasted in Bordeaux for the week.

In the Vineyards – The sap of the vines are deep in its roots which are sitting in waterlogged vineyards. The work of pruning continues to take place, rain or shine, in the vineyards with the pruning (mostly done by the men and by electric secateurs now) and the ‘tirage du bois’ (the pulling out of the cut branches of the vines, mostly done by women). The vine cuttings ‘sarments’ are then placed in between the vine rows to either be ploughed into the soil or to be piled up to be made into bundles to be used to cook duck breast or ‘entrecotes bordelaises sur sarments’ giving a smokey, grilled flavour.

January Fronsac Italy 286


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