I haven’t written in awhile, and as I try to make sure this day is remembered in my mind, I also try not to force awkward sympathy from others or uncomfortable moments when talking about September 11th, 2001.
In fact, I still don’t really know how to talk about 9/11 in front of others. Maybe I never will. However, I remember the year anniversary when I sat in front of a computer in France and emailed my friends to let them know I was well again.
In honor of that day, I thought I would share the email with my blogger friends.
A recap of the Burgundian Vendange
We have been picking for four straight days, and our bodies have never hurt so much. It is a wonderful experience, nonetheless, because the people are amazing and the wines are beautiful.
Just to let you know where we are, it is a very small village in Burgundy called Morey St. Denis with a population of 700 people. We are approximately 25 km south of Dijon, Burgundy’s capital. For those of you who still have no idea where I am talking about, think an hour southeast of Paris. The name of the winery is Domaine Dujac, and it is a very prestigious winery started in 1968 by a gentleman named Jacques Seysses. Jacaques is a wonderful man who married a beautiful woman from San Francisco and they have 3 amazing sons named Jeremy, Alec, and Paul (27, 25, 21, respectively). We are living at their home where we eat every meal with them and several other young people who are also working the harvest. Two girls are from the Bay area, two guys are from Australia, and then there are two workers from Paris.
We get up every morning around 7 and pick grapes until 5 or 6 with a one hour lunch break at 1. What we would term migrant worker, the French term gypsie. There are many gypsie workers from Turkey, Morocco, et al who meet us in the fields each day to pick with us. Without these gypsies, our days would not end as they are possibly the fastest pickers on the planet outside of the Mexican pickers in Napa.
The highlight of the trip came yesterday when I got to perform the pigeage for Vosne Romanee Les Beaumonts 2002. For those of you who have no idea what I am speaking of, think the I Love Lucy episode where she was barefooted stomping grapes. Instead, I was in Stephen’s boxer shorts and a Brooklyn t-shirt up to my armpits in Pinot Noir breathing in the sweet smell of CO2. My instuctions were “don’t get your head in or you’ll die.” Many pictures were taken and even a video that you may be emailed soon. It truly was a great thing and the comment of the day was “there will always be a little Inez in this wine.” Unfortunately, this particular wine is not imported into the US so only the French will get to drink me. Besides the day when I marry Stephen, it was the best day of my life.
The meals are extraordinary, and make me jealous of the French lifestyle. Each harvest lunch is shared by all of the workers, gypsies included, where we sit down and eat a four course meal with wine. Cheese is served as the third course which I am loving tremendously. At night, we have an even better dinner with the Seysse Family and our small group. For wine, we are taken down to their cellar which is bigger than my house (no joke) and we pick out wine for the evening’s meal. For example, Vosne Romanee 1964 from La Pousse d’Or, Bonne Mares 1974 from Dujac himself and Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 1976 (my birth year–tres exciting).
It is an unbelievable experience that I am so glad we did for many reasons. For those of you who I speak to often and those of you who I don’t, everyone is aware of the events of the past year and the toll they have taken on my emotional, spiritual and physical well being. It has been extremely hard for me to realize what really happened a year ago and of course, why it happened. I have cried a lot, and I have been very angry at the world. All of that has slowly changed since being in France where grapes are the focus and the quality of life is not hurt by the evening news and the newspapers. I am working on becoming the old Inie, or Inez to some of you, and while I am not completely there, I think I am headed in the right direction. I want to tell everyone how happy I am to be in this world as it is the first time I am feeling this since last year.
Love to everyone — Me”