When I was a little boy, I loved walking around the wine-making cellar. In my imagination, the enormous wine tanks transformed and became champions, guardians protectors of the wine…
My Heros !
Creaking, wheezing, groaning, squealing, sweating…sometimes they even seemed to be laughing ! I watched the noisy show, as some were gushing from of their nozzles, while others were being filled up.
I grew up learning to play with my heros who live in the wine-cellars.
Each has its own name and personality to share and their attributes come alive in the wines :
Hot chocolate & brioche
Lessons learned outside the classroom are the ones that stick with you the most…
When I was 12 years old, I left my little school in the village for the big school in the city and it was close to harvest time.
I explained to my new classmates, with their perfectly clean, shiny shoes, that back home, while the women were tasked with putting the dormitory and dining hall in order, the men were making their last little adjustments to their wine-press and trying to agree about the starting date of the harvest.
My new friends were fascinated by my lifestyle. I noticed that when I spoke about it, their eyes started to shine with longing. To them, being a winegrower meant living in the great outdoors, driving big tractors and spending endless long weekends in the countryside.
Soon we were on our way, to the southern slopes of the Reims mountain.
When we arrived at the House, thirty minutes later, the three centuries-old porch opened its arms to us.
My mother and the kitchen women welcomed us and gave each one the traditional white apron used by master winegrowers. Having been awarded this emblem of honor and stature, we were allowed to sit at the head table. As the conversation about the harvest became heated, my classmates made sure not to miss a thing.
2pm: Sergeant Serge, former officer of the Foreign Legion, sounded our depart with the same bugle that had played for the French Colonial Army in 1953 after the bloody battle of DIEN BIEN PHU in Vietnam.