Winter Work 4

“Grapes and Old Stones” is a chronicle of our new life, sometimes lived an old way.   Only 80 years ago this farm functioned without electricity and running water.    Today fireplaces still need wood.   The outhouse needs cleaning.   Big old trees need haircuts.   Vegetable and flower gardens need woodchips.


John pruning the old tree


Now we get help from as much machinery as we can afford.    No nostalgia for filling thousands of wine bottles by hand, but still, very dependent on muscle power. 

Some nights they traipse in, muddy boots shedding all over my clean kitchen floor, work clothes scented with compost and machine oil.    It reminds me of another time.

So this winter I followed the men around to try and catch their sighs, laughter, brute force, camaraderie, and occasional exhalations of exhaustion.

Here is a little glimpse.


You Tube : La Tourbeille Vineyard – Winter Work



Henri & John filling barrels Jan 2019


The old fireplace


Chopping wood, John splitting the old, felled oak Dec 2018


Henri high in the tree February 2019


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4 thoughts on “Winter Work

  • Steven Lawrence

    Love the video – Helen and I just screened. As I watched the woodchopping scene I thought about how appropriate it is that the end of John’s family name is the French word for “iron.” And I also learned proper woodchopping technique. Everyone looks so healthy. Wish we were there! Hope to visit in the fall. xs

  • Bernadette

    Love the video and the precious moments of life you’ve captured and preserved! To look back in the warmth of summer . . .

  • william bruton

    next time I visit I will bring my chain saw and hydraulic log splitter Loved the video. Why was Julian putting his head in the bucket???
    Your loving Brother