From sulphur to sugarcane

12 July 2019

It's not very far from sulfur to sugar cane

Now if you catch my eye and it seems to run down your leg

It's like striking a match pretty hard upon a powder keg

These were the words of the song going round and round in my head as we road through the Champagne region of France. The vignerons were super busy in the vineyards spraying with sulphur, you could smell it pretty strong in the air at times as we road along, hence the ear worm!


We've been lucky enough to travel through both the Champagne and Burgundy regions in the last week

It was good to be back amongst the vines, and while it looks a little like home it is actually quite different. Both Annie and I really enjoy France, they seem to value the right things, their food, language, culture, villages and landscape. The latter two so very beautiful but it doesn’t happen by chance or for free. The government and community expend a lot of effort to keep it beautiful, making sure that any development doesn’t detract from the ambience of the place. I also very much appreciate the less conspicuous advertising here compared to Australia.


Some of the sites seem surreal at times, like this cameo from Auxerre.


The State owns and is responsible for the cathedrals, like this one in Reims.

The other thing that I now understand better about France is that how things are done is perhaps more important than the final product. In the case of food and wine it is often the way things are done that is being mandated and nurtured, not the specific taste of the final product. Hence the regional, sub regional and village level differences between products. Of course different methods of production are likely to result in different tastes but it is not the taste they preserve but the unique cultural methods. I don’t think I really understood this before.

So in France, how you do something is as important as what you do, a good lesson for us all I think.


Farmers have been busy harvesting that carefully crafted rural landscape.


Style passion and panache, Vive la France!

Many thanks to Alix et Mark for looking after us again.

Back with more from France soon

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