Photo story - First festive gathering at la Boudinerie : Noella Morantin and Laurent Saillard invited friends, among whom many artisan vignerons, for a barbecue and lots of great wines (and artisanal beer). These vignerons sharing the same love for real wines often meet for such heartening lunches or dinners, and this happens all around France. Sometimes, these gatherings take place on the side of bigger meetings and wine fairs, jumping on the opportunity that they're around together, sometimes like here, just for the fun to be together and celebrate. Of what I heard, this is always casual and relaxed, the food is great, and as the vignerons bring their wines, you drink lots of good stuff, some of it not even on the market.
Here, this was also the opportunity to celebrate a friend's birthday : Arnaud Ehrart's birthday.
People began arriving at the winery at noon, lots of familiar faces and a few whom I met for the first time. Joe Dressner, Denyse and his children were there too, as well as several other Americans. I spoke to Sam, a close friend of Arnaud who is from Mexico, and who worked along with James in Arnaud's early ventures. I spoke also with Caribou who with Julie created La Mise, the small-but-hot natural-wine gathering which takes place yearly in the south of France. I also discovered that many vignerons had hidden skills, like they know how to sharpen knives, cut muttons and things like that...
Arnaud is a bit anxious these days because a big storm (class 3, 120-knots winds as what was known when this barbecue took place) is on its way in the Carribean and he is having his boat moved because of this.
I left the party at about 10 pm, although it went on till the morning, I guess (could have slept there, no problem, said Laurent), and I passed while on my motorcycle near there in Saint-Aignan along what I think was a Gendarmerie squad setting up near the bridge for its saturday-evening shift of road checks. This is what I'd call a close call for a breath check