Chardonne Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
Some days lodge in your heart. Some days, just sometimes, are just exactly as they should be.
The holiday on the 29th took us on a vinyard tour. Switzerland is not a big exporter of wine because the alps make it hard to farm on an industrial sort of basis, so they keep the wine to themselves. It is very good, and lovely to see the vinyards. They are extremely pretty. Anything that kills of grapevines kills roses first, so the growers put rose buhes at the end of the vines to act as a warning system for disease and pests. So by June, the ripening vines are bookended by glorious roses in full bloom. This particular vinyard is above the banks of Lac Leman, with views to Chateau Crillion and the mountains.
Well, we settled down, having had the tour and the wine history lesson, at an outdoor table in the heart of the vinyard. Wine was poured, and we all made a good attempt at looking knowledgable as the tasting progressed. As a bonus, Emma is totally teetotal so I tasted hers too. Good sausage and bread was shared around; apparently some wines need food. personally, I think almost any social occasion benefits from lovely fresh bread and continental sausage. The Swiss ones tasted sort of chewy, in a good way, and very rich. As we drank, the sky above the lake darkened.
More wine was drunk; nobody was getting drunk, but we had given up on the idea of taking notes, and got to the stage of the day where we were just asking the surprisingly young vinyard owner about the parties he had at harvest time. the clouds by now were hiding the other side of Lac Leman completely, and the lightning started. It was unbelievably beautiful. of course, we had to be ferried to safety, in case we got fried to a crisp, but I volunteered to be in the second car load back. I sat, getting wetter and wetter, watching the lightning bolts sear the sky, and the warning lights on the lake switch from the code for "come to your home harbour" to the code for "just get into the nearest shelter and stay there" (someone explained the lights to me; I had never realised that inland lakes could be dangerous enough to warrant lighthouses, which just goes to show how dumb I can be!).
I can't find htose photos, but I'm still looking; I remember them being quite good. it's hard to explain, at three year's distance, quite how amazing the storm rolling in and breaking was. But it's one of my favourite memories.
And by the way, when in Switzerland, drink Fondant. And Bacchanale was a very nice wine.