My hands are clean now. It took about three weeks for the last of the tannin stains to wash off. I kind of miss them.
Aside from two lingering aches, the physical impact of harvest has all but departed. The discomfort and early mornings are fading now. Overlapping and blurring into the years before. Every year is different and the same.
It's been raining in London for the better part of a week. The brief breaks of sunshine are too infrequent to provide any lasting warmth or sense of illumination. My thoughts often, usually when opening up a bottle, point towards the south of France. To the way the warmth grows as the sun rises over the Med, taking away the chill of the wind that blows down from the mountains.
The wine is doing its own thing at the moment. Maturing, resting, developing. It hibernates in the autumn and winter, sort of like a bear. And while it rests, we crack the bottles from the years before, in an attempt to keep the cold out.
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