New discoveries: wine

Barrel Stain
Wine barrels in the cave of the Pierre Fil winery in the South of France.

 

Checking out the bottling truck
A friend and I recently visited a local vineyard that we quite like, and while there, we learned that the bottling truck would arrive a few days later. I’ve been intrigued by these trucks since I first landed in the South of France, and had been hoping for an opportunity to photograph one in action.

Annabelle, our host, was very welcoming of the idea, giving me a big smile and opening her arms to say that I would be welcome to watch, learn and take a few photographs.

Gasp! You mean the wines aren’t tenderly bottled by hand at each winery?
Some wineries still do their own bottling, but it’s an expensive, time-consuming and error-prone process. Here’s a list of the necessary steps: clean and dry the bottles, fill with wine, cork and cap, add labels, place bottles in cartons. Each step requires its own machine and/or operator. The equipment is precise, it needs to be maintained, and it can break down during bottling. There is also the complication that different wine varietals require different bottles, along with their own unique labels. If someone inexperienced is operating the machine for corking the wine or for placing the labels, things can go wrong, which means that while the wine inside might be perfectly fine, the bottle doesn’t look good enough to sell, so it’s set aside, and if that happens too often, there’s a problem with profits. Of course, the entire process must be done under strict hygiene restrictions. It all adds up to a nightmare of organization that many vintners are happy to hand off to the experts.

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New discoveries: perfume

I’m starting a new feature of my blog: to tell the stories of a few of the people I meet in my travels, people who offer a product or service that I appreciate. They are people who lead lives of creativity and passion and craftsmanship, in a word, artisans. These are not ads or paid promotions, but rather my own experience of something noteworthy to share with you. I am calling the feature “New Discoveries,” and you’ll be able to search by that term to see other installments.

And now a drumroll, please … I bring you a very special perfume shop.

Godet Outside
The inviting exterior of Maison Godet, where I saw Sonia misting the air with one of her lovely perfumes. The sign tells the history of Maison Godet, founded by Sonia’s great-grandfather in 1901, and explains his connection with Matisse.

 

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