A fine wine in the Charente

Last week we visited the Pic Russe vineyard.  We had ‘discovered’ them at the organic wine fair. No, actually it was Jerome and Naomi ( remember the amazing upholsterer from La Rochelle ?) who had told us about a fine wine from the Charente. Being used to the bordeaux wines being known as the better wines in this region, we were interested. And we found them at the wine fair, and we did taste a fair few. They were right - Pic Russe do make good wine ! We were told that we could visit the vineyard, and so last week, we went. The vines are planted on a hill ( aren’t they always… ), and we learnt that their philosophy apart from being organic, is to leave the grapes to full maturity, and not to try to have as big a harvest as possible, but to accept a smaller quantity, for the quality. They don’t mechanically harvest, but still gather a crowd to hand-pick when the time comes, with the traditional feast afterwards. I asked about the name, and it is because the valley and hill is called the pic Russe, but no-one knows exactly why.  It is also the name of the little bird with the red bottom, which nests in this area. Le rouge-qeue.  What I love is the quirky names of the wines. Sous la couture, Le temps vole, Pique Russe….   Yves told us that the whole thing came about as a bit of a challenge.  A cognac grape grower and friend, had a small amount of land that he was not going to be growing on, and Yves suggested they might try to make some wine. Its exactly the way I would do something like this - jump in and learn as you go. The local cognac grape growers all laughed and called him “The parisian who is going to go back soon “. But that was 30 years ago now. And they make really good wine ! 

So yes, we did buy a boot full, but that means the ‘cave’ is sorted out for winter, and we can stay cosily inside by the fire with a good glass. I did just read this morning about all the health benefits of wine. 

Today, for the first time, we are alone in the house. It has been a very long time. Apart from a week in April, we have had guests or volunteers, gite guests or friends staying since March 2021. Today, I am slowly going through all the dressers to take away all the dust and cobwebs that have been gathering in our absent attention. Its a very long but enjoyable process. To loves ones house, and see it glow again, after a good bit of spit and polish. I wonder if anyone else does an deep autumn clean as well as the spring one ? 

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