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French Countryside Living: Finding Inspiration From French Women

HiP Paris Blog explores countryside womenWilliam Sun

When I moved from Paris to the French countryside two years ago, I knew I would miss things from the city- I just didn’t know exactly what those things would be. I was certain that country life would be enriching and come with added benefits; more space, a slower pace of life, fresh air, a nightly view of the starry sky, but I had no way of knowing that I would miss so much about my city life.

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Posted in Green | 1 Comment »

Les Vendanges: The Grape Harvest in France’s Loire Valley

Grape Harvest in the Loire France

Tom Watson

Summer seems to only have just started and already I find my thoughts fast forwarding to the fall. I love every minute of the summer, with its long lazy days and cloudless blue skies, but since I started working in the vines, my summer vacations have become more distracted by the fruit-ripening months to come. The hot days of summer inevitably inspire winemakers to tackle the practicalities of the harvest. Here in wine country, the build up to the harvest comes with a contagious energy. It’s not just the time when winemakers collect the fruit of their hard work throughout the year, but it’s also a festive time, with teams of workers spending their days in the vines. Unlike most of the work done throughout the year – pruning, treating, working the land, etc which is solitary and requires few – the harvest requires teams of workers coming together.

Grape Harvest in the Loire

rogiro

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Posted in Wine | 1 Comment »

Experiencing the Wine Harvest in France

HiP Paris blog. Experiencing the wine harvest in France. Fun (but backbreaking!) work.

It’s been a belle année in France and the annual grape harvests are upon us. Due to the beautiful summer weather and almost ideal conditions throughout the year, the harvest – or vendanges – are taking place much earlier than last year. Sun-soaked southern winegrowing regions, like Beaujolais and Languedoc-Roussillon, began their harvests in mid-August and cooler regions, like the Loire Valley, will start the harvest in these first few weeks of September.

Taking part in the vendanges is almost a rite of passage for French youth. Broke high school and college students often take advantage of this opportunity to make some money before the school year starts, while spending time under the sun and making friends from all around the world. In smaller vineyards, the vendanges feel like a family affair, with communities forming among the harvesters who come back year after year. I kind of think of the vendanges as the French version of summer camp, only instead of making lanyards you’re helping to make wine.

HiP Paris blog. Experiencing the wine harvest in France. Well-tended, hand-raised grapes must also be harvested by hand.

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