This month I met with a local winemaker, Susan Danenburger of Danenburger Family Vineyards. She told me a story of a cold spring season that drew her (and everyone she knows) into the vines with fires, heaters, blankets, warm water…anything that would protect the baby vines from frost damage. This technique is practical, time honored and ancient. Calling up fire to sustain us has been a human necessity since the first flame was lit.
This concept, of giving deeply of effort, energy and focus, has a bit of influence in our house now. Whenever we feel we’ve cut a corner or given up too soon, we ask ourselves:
Am I Out There With the Heaters?
Am I bringing my all for this bit of destiny?
This week, vignerons in Burgundy saw temperatures drop below freezing. Like Susan, they instinctively warmed the vines, providing for them creature comforts necessary for survival. It’s not unlike parenting: nothing is held back in the course of seeing babies thrive. According to The Drinks Business, “An initial report from the Burgundy interprofession (BIVB) to the drinks business explained that the phenomenon was “extremely” rare but that it affected vineyards across the entirety of Burgundy and that even vineyards that usually escape such freezes have been affected.
The higher vineyards in Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois appear to have been the worst affected, the north of the Côte de Beaune (Savigny, Chorey and down to Meursault, Pommard and Volnay) was also severely touched and apparently Marsannay in the Côte de Nuits.”
I saw the most incredible images on Facebook from a photographer named Aurélien Ibanez. He was in the vineyards with the vignerons in Chablis, in northern Burgundy. I share these images with Aurélien’s permission and I encourage you to like his page on Facebook. He is from Bourgogne and offers gorgeous and sensitive photos of his region.
He shared his impression: les vignerons sont sur le pied de guerre.
The winemakers were on war footing.