This week so far has been really fun! Tuesday we found out our internship positions, and I’m excited to say I will be interning on the vineyard Domaine de Montels. If you want to go online and look at their website, it looks very nice! Just google the name of the place. 🙂 I know my family has 2 daughters, 10 and 12, so that’s very exciting as well! They also make red, white, and rose wines. I’m really looking forward to being in a family atmosphere and learning the ins and outs of how a vineyard is run!
Wednesday morning we had French lessons and in the afternoon we got to go visit the Purpan experimental farm. It’s a dairy farm, and we got to see many cows (so cute!) and learn about the production of the farm. We also got to see a cow get milked! The machine that’s used was very interesting. One thing I thought was cool was that the cows get milked at their will. They go up to the machine when they feel like they need to be milked; a farmer doesn’t need to go around and gather the cows for milking.
Today was a very exciting day. We took a bus to visit 2 vineyards in south west France. The first was called Abbaye de Fontfroide, and the property was very large; it was originally where monks lived up until the 1900’s. We also got to see the wine cellars where the grapes are fermented. The second vineyard was called L’Hospitalet. It was very classy, and well maintained. Our tour guide was very nice and answered a lot of our questions! I started feeling like my parents because I was asking a lot, and I especially started feeling like my father when I asked about the maintenance and everything… I made him do math. Whoops! We also got to see the wine cellars here which were very extensive!! Also, we got to see the barrels where they put the wine for a certain amount of time. The red wine goes in the barrels for 1-3 years (maybe more), and the white and rose only goes in for approximately 6 months. They only use French oak wood too.
At both vineyards we got to do a wine tasting as well! The first vineyard we tasted 3 different wines (white, rose, red) all which were fairly decent. The second vineyard we were fortunate enough to taste 4. The rose wine we tasted was very special; while the grapes were going in 2010, there was a fire all around the vineyard (luckily it didn’t ruin theirs) but the grapes took in some of the smoke so the wine had a slight smoky smell. We tasted 2 red wines and I thought they were fantastic! They would’ve been great with a nice steak too! The second one we tasted was probably my favorite; it had a little smoky taste but that wasn’t overwhelming at all.
Tomorrow I am going to a French Gastronomy workshop, which means we get to learn how some French food is made!!! I’m very excited for that! And then it’s off to Paris tomorrow night for the weekend. Busy busy busy!! But I’m having fun. 🙂