Lavaux | Switzerland
LAVAUX. A CENTURIES
On the steep shores du Lac Léman (ndlr Lake Geneva), grows, unchanged for hundreds of years, the fruit of the vine, the nectar of the gods, the poison of the soul.
It is said that here a miracle happens, that three sun are seen to be shining. The vineyards are manicured from father to son for generations, you are born a vigneron (ndlr a wine maker) and you remain a vigneron. Here, as a testimony to the longevity of the art, is celebrated, four times a century, the best vigneron around. Three weeks during, large celebration takes place, thousands of volunteers dress up and dance, millions of glasses of wine are poured, kilos and kilos of cheese are eaten, thousands wake up with pounding heads, one is celebrated victorious.
It is said that here the terrain is so steep that the will of the gods were begged for and brought in as reinforcement. Before the Incas built there famous terraces for agriculture, here the men of God built small stone terraces to grow the fruit of the vine.
The small scale production isn’t well know in the world, it doesn’t go far, it is all necessary to clench the avid thirst of the locals. Each bottle stands as a testimony of the craft, witness of the passion of the men who cultivate it.
Many famous poets, singers and writers praised the Lavaux, for its astonishing beauty, for its fairytale like views. Even Prince, a Jehovah witness, wrote a song praising the wine growing area. The land there is worth billions but protected by the UNESCO World Heritage we can still enjoy wandering amongst it in the fading light of an autumn evening.
When it comes to the time of harvesting the grape, many come from the surrounding lands to give a helping hand. As the grape starts to rotten, the century old villages are engulfed by an intoxicating smell of alcohol.
It is said, this year, that the warmer and drier weather than usual, will produce an extraordinary vintage. Perhaps global warming will force the farmer to grow something we can eat, cultivated by hand rather than carried by helicopter.
Here too, in centuries old traditions, the greed of man has taken root.
Images provided by Jeremy Perret. All rights reserved.