A quick note to say: We have harvested. The turnout of friends who came, who make the venture of bringing the grapes into the cellar possible, was higher than the previous year. The gratefulness I feel towards them is difficult to describe: kids’ appointments, parties, birthdays, etc, are all cast aside to come out into the fields and help us. It is cold, it is repetitive, despite the good chin-wag you can have, from row to row, it takes a lot of dedication to cut every mouldy berry out: we do it, we stay in our ‚handlese-world‘, we compare aching limbs in the days after.
Would James Bond put his assignments on hold to come out for a Green Feather Harvest? Would M have given him a little code that makes all the mouldy berries fall off in one go, without the need to poke the fiddly cutters into the grape bunches? Would the house-tall harvesting machine of our neighbour suddenly roll toward us, with mumbles in a foreign accent; would Bond suddenly put two and two together, link the approaching harvesting machine with out a scheme he’d been chasing for years; would the crucial clue be in the stacking of our harvested boxes; would he press a button on his watch to stop the harvester crushing our vineyard; – the button would fail, since everything had gotten sticky from the grapes; but he would have rescued us; gas heaters would drop from the sky dangling from parachutes; and we, the pickers, could sit together and share our impressions of the day (which we did anyway, bar the heaters).
(“Oechsle” being the sugar degrees measured in the grape juice, before it starts fermenting.)