We’d never been in France during October before, so imagine our joy at discovering what goes on in the Gaillac vineyards after the summertime holidaymakers return home. The exceptionally mild and sunny weather meant the vines held their autumn colours well after the viticulteurs moved in, which was a bonus.

We took this pic the week the work began. Stage one involved removing the anchor posts holding up the wire supports that run the length of the vines. The posts were then repositioned and replaced more securely. The anchor posts go into the ground at an angle of about 45 degrees so as to counterbalance the weight of the crop that will fruit on the vine over the coming season.

We had a quite a chat with the vineworkers over the weeks they worked the fields and in our pidgin French we picked up a few vineyard secrets. Interestingly, we got talking with another viticulteur a few weeks later at a neighbouring vineyard and he employed completely different techniques. So, as with most things in life, there’s more than one way to grow your grapes.