It certainly feels like peak holiday time here at the moment with soaring temperatures, busy beaches, traffic jams and cars with 'foreign' numberplates - including those from other Departements in France. But most winemakers are heading back from their hols now to gear up for the 2009 harvest.
Today I spoke to 2 producers in St Chinian and Minervois who tell me they will begin harvesting their white varietals next week.
Alain Clerbout of Domaine Lou Colombier will be harvesting his chardonnay on Monday. At 3am to be precise. When it is cool so as to preserve freshness in the grapes and to limit the mechanical cooling that needs to be done in tank once the grapes are pressed. This is one of the clear advantages of machine harvesters - they can pick at night whereas human harvesters have to wait until dawn.
Luc Bettoni of Domaine Les Eminades will be picking his Sauvignon Blanc sometime next week. Unusually for SB this will be fermented in barrel rather than tank.
So the harvest 2009 is beginning. Lets hope it's a good one!