Thursday, May 20, 2010

Picking Grapes in Alsace

Pomerol grape pickers I went to a book party last night and drank too much chardonnay, so I'm showing my grape picking ventures today...
October harvest in Riquewihr, Alsace, is one of the most beautiful anywhere. I got to stand on a hill and sling a pair of shears for few hours. My 'payment' - to sit at the long vineyard table and share a huge luscious lunch. Alsatian grape picking is a family affair. Every member shows up to help with les vendanges.
Grape pickers at Regaleali vineyards in Sicily At Regaleali Vineyard in Sicily I just watched. The pickers sang, chatted, smoked, picked grapes in the most leisurely fashion. You can take cooking lessons here with Countess Anna Tasca-Lanza.
Tuscan grape pickersTuscan vineyards are almost as beautiful as Alsace.
Napa Valley, Calilfornia grape picker Napa Valley grape pickers don't walk.They race to get the job done.
Burgundian 19th century grape pickers In Burgundy they used to carry straw baskets/paniers on their backs. You'll find these at Fr. ebay. You'll find all kinds of wine-related goodies on I should know. I used to spend hours and $ looking for still life objects and I've got a closet full of taste-vins to prove it!
Pickers in the Medoc, Bordeaux19th century Bordeaux pickers...
Grape picker watercolor sketches Figures are more fun to draw than grapes...
The grape picker artiste in pleine aire... I'm better at wielding a paintbrush than grape shears/secateurs. Some passerby on the Bordeaux La Route du vin insisted on taking my picture back in the day when I haunted the vineyards.


  1. Oh, Carol on Chardonnay
    does still hold sway
    over the vineyard!
    Loved to look at those paintings
    and pictures again! :-)
    Glad those tourists took your picture.

    I am following a vineyard here through the year (not with a brush - that would be a catastrophe! - but with my camera). I wonder if there will be a long vineyard table with good food when autumn comes around.

  2. Justine7:58 AM

    Love your watercolors as always..
    These are very fluid and washy..
    The same thing?
    Probably :)

  3. Ah you MUST ask them if you can help out at the harvest
    And record it for them too!!
    So much fun...

  4. Ah: The vendange. Afternoons of aching backs, red stained hands and sore knees, followed by a glass or two of eau de vie and then a long lunch to mark the end of the harvest!

    Just got back from the UK via Paris. Lunch at Le Vrai Paris in Montmatre. Gorgeous Tartare au Saumon with dill and lemon dressing. Miam Maim!

  5. Oh you've been there and done that - picking grapes...
    It sounds like more than once too...
    Oh I forgot the sore knees :)
    Le Vrais Paris in Montmartre?
    33 rue des Abbesses, 75018
    It does sound very miamy..

  6. Thank you for visiting.

    I want to see more of your paintings and will try to visit the Greenhouse while your exhibit is on.

    The grape picking, grape growing paintings are so full of life. You capture the scene well.

    Best wishes.

  7. Estelle9:29 AM

    Salut Carol,
    J'adore your grape picking ventures! So glad that you had too much
    Chardonnay last night, LOL.
    I especially love the "Tuscan Vineyard" painting.
    Thank you for sharing, Estelle

  8. I used to picking grapes when I was a's so much fun!

    Ps: Oh Carol I'm so happy you added some watercolors to your Etsy shop. I must gifting myself with one of them soon :-)

    Cheers: Evi

  9. William Ternay, Jr.9:36 AM

    AaaHaaa Carol...
    Not only do we get to enjoy your wine tasting, but we do so via those
    always elegant & carefree water colors, hidden in the pages of you journals.
    Thanks for once again bringing them and sharing.

  10. FRANCES your paintings are exquisite! love the teacup of course...

    So ESTELLE I should get tipsey more often? Will do! :)

    Absolutely Ladylike- somehow I cannot imagine you picking grapes..Your satin gown would get stained forever...

  11. Carol, I love your watercoluors. You handle a very difficult, and often badly used, medium in such a free manner. Beautiful washes and a great way of keeping simplicity and purity.

    I will be picknicking on Passerelle Solferino in June.

  12. Your paintings are so beautiful! I could feel the sunshine and hear the singing. Delightful.

  13. Julia in Canada10:31 AM

    Absolutely beautiful! I just started subscribing to your blog. I think I'm going to become a big fan!
    Thanks for sharing


  14. These Little Oven macarons might be the perfect way to help you recover from your night of wine tasting - take a look!
    No retail yet - Online shop but based in NYC and the owner sounds really nice and she did a stint in Paris under Pierre Hermes!
    And Thank you for always brightening my day with your blog posts!



  15. Beautiful watercolors!After seen your artwork you made me want pack my suitcase faster! We are leaving to Italy next Friday, and Tuscany is on my route. We will be gone for 3 weeks and I don't know if I will be lucky enough to find a place with WI-FI. I am not sure if those little villages have such a thing?!
    take care.

  16. Carole-

    I'm facinated to know more about but can't seem to find 'les paniers de vendange'.

    Of course, I'm probably not 'rechercher' for the right thing-

    Can you point me in the correct direction?


  17. your watercolors are REALLY lovely carol! but you probably know that already....

  18. Carol, I think I might be around in time for your exhibition...I would love to take a look and meet you if I am here. xv

  19. Boy, this is great! Love the paintings so much...........

  20. Misha in Paris1:30 PM

    Super last picture
    Miss Carol (very serious) is painting the "Frensh myth" !

  21. Melody1:32 PM

    Drink more wine . .
    it's working. laughing
    Seriously, I love your watercolor paintings today.
    I love your blog
    everyday but today's made me feel happy.


  22. Oh. This takes me back. I picked grapes once here at Wollershiem Winery in Wisconsin. If I did it again, I'd take my pay in wine. Fun, beautiful fall day.

  23. Oh brings back memories of le vendange in Alsace (where I was a student)...yay. (I try to forget about the aching back/limbs...but now I'm thinking of it because of a comment:)

    I love your watercolors, too...


  24. cozinharegionalnoroestees4:01 PM


    Glad to follow PB's posts,again!

  25. I can never live long enough to do HALF the wonderful things you've done!

  26. the grapes look great, but a random macaron comment:
    yet another (not real) macaron from japan!

    and the original is here:

    anything i see macaron related things i always think of your blog. sorry if you've already seen it!

  27. Love this post. Those are amazing paintings. Sounds like you had fun.

  28. You have really captured the spirit of the scene. What a beautiful series!


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