There's something about this little town. I walk slower. I look up. The kids and I had only been in Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie for a week, and already our friendly neighbors had drawn me out of my shell. I'm not usually a very social kinda guy, but around here I'm practically a social butterfly! On Saturday I talked the kids into going to Carnival in town. We met neighbors. On Sunday, Sarah from across the street rang the bell to invite us to work in a friend's vineyard for the day. Ten minutes later we were following a small convoy to Vallabrix, a nearby village to pitch in.
Serge, the winemaker and vineyard owner (and also Postman) is converting his vineyards to certified organic. It's a four-year process, and he has another year to go. He's working hard to be as natural as possible, doing even more than needed for certification. On Sunday there were about twenty-five men, women, and children there to help pull up the old plastic weed barriers bofore he mulches.
At lunchtime we gathered around the picnic table and ate sausages cooked over a fire pit fueled with old grape vines. Everything on the table was from "just over that hill." The cheese, the sausages, the salad, and especially the wine -- I could shout to where they came from. I think Serge's wines were good, but I'm not sure. I drank his red and his rosé, but mostly I was drinking the day. The moment -- something you can't put into the bottle. The sunshine and the people. The view. How crazy hungry I was from the work. (I'll need to find Serge and buy some bottles just to make sure...)
I picked Brenna up at the airport in Marsailles that afternoon. It's about an hour and a half drive. Owen and I showed up dirty and dusty, and full of stories. Ella decided to stay at the vineyard with her new friend Rose, Sarah's daughter, and caught a ride home with their family that evening.
There is something about this place.