At the time, it was normal in middle-class country families, that when there were two children, the eldest studied and the youngest – considered at times to be somewhat…slow! – was destined to take care of the vineyard. So, I did technical studies, then the agricultural college, the school of viticulture and, luckily, the faculty of oenology.
I only participated in the work in the vineyard during the holidays. It was very hard, but very good training. I often did the harvests. For me, it was a constant party, inviting friends, working all day and having fun all night! All this was under my father’s watchful eye, although I am sure he was having a good laugh behind his seriousness. My mother ran the kitchen.
We ate dishes that are unfortunately no longer really known: ham soup, sausages with lentils, chicken and rice, salted cod ….solid but tasty country fare, far removed from the three steamed green beans duelling in today’s dishes!
It was a lot less sophisticated but much more authentic and, for two weeks a year, it was pure pleasure. Had the estate needed another pair of hands at the time, in the 1960s, I would never have become an oenologist !! Destiny...