25 September 2012

Grapes picking aka Vendange in Beaujolais

My job search started at the Belleville train station 50 km North from the Lyon.

Just beside the train station was opened little office where people looking for a job at the vineyards could register and waited for a farmers to come and pick them up.

This year grapes season also known as "Vendange" at Beaujolais region started later then usually at 10th September.

I had arrived at the train from Lyon at 7.40am.
Office was open from 7.30 and already it was a queue.
After I gave my passport detail and a phone number to the women at the office I had been told wait for the phone call or just sit and wait when they will find some work for me.

There was loads of people from different countries sitting and waiting for the job.
This is Patrick from Warsaw and Alena from London.
Patrick was travelling with a friends by the car around the Europe and decided make some moneys at the Vendange in France.
Alena is the photographer from London who decided spent her holidays doing grapes picking.

Later I had met two Lithuanian girls from Vilnius Ruta and Dovile. They are came especially for grapes picking by hitch-hiking.  

Atmosphere at the train station was amazing. People were very friendly.

Stolen trolley from the supermarket was converted to the race car.

This is Mike from Germany. He came here on his bicycle with his dog:)
He was the most entertaining guy from the group.

Spanish girl in red came to ask for the the food:)

There was loads of interesting things happening at the train station.
People were comes and goes. We were playing cards and chatting.
One moment all the train station was surrounded by the police. There were more then 20 officers with a guns. They are had approached to us and started checking documents, bags and parked cars.

Police were very friendly.
Also they are haven't checked my documents. 

Was  late evening and we still had no job:(
I decided to go back to Lyon for the night and come back next morning to try my luck again.
I had asked my friend Van if I could host my new international friends for the night as they had no place to stay.
Kind Van says Yes. And we took a "free" train to the Lyon:)

Next day early morning me and my Lithuanian friends went back to the Belleville hoping to find some work.
Patrick and Alena decided to stay in Lyon and come back next day.
As at my first day I had to give my name at the office and wait.
Fortunately this time I wasn't waiting for too long. After 20 minutes they called me and told that I and another 3 guys got a place:)

Winery I was working located  in little village called St.Lager.

Two dorm rooms wit double deck beds for 20 people.

Most of the picking crew were Polish from Gdansk some French and guys and one English-Canadian who wanted to be French:) 

Work wasn't to hard. We were starting at 6am with a brekfast and went to the fields at 7.20

Two hours later we had a second breakfast with sandwiches, meet, cheese and wine.

Everybody were drinking as much wine as they wanted.
Drivers too....

First three days we were picking a white grapes.

All this goes in to the wine......

 Red grapes was easy to pick and also they are looks much better.

Some fields looks like from the pictures.

Some others were like a jungles where we had to search for the grapes.

Unknown object!

Happy me!

Another little video...

Birds farm nearby.

 Birds from this farm on the dinner table.

Traditional cheese plate at the end of the meal.

Steve + wine and cheese are the best friends....:)

Pascal the winery owner showed us wine making process and also we tasted all different kind of wines produces at this winery.

Something drinkable but not a wine yet.

Vacuum press for the white grapes.

Tanks with grapes juice.


Canadian-British guy Steve and his "best French friend" Allen who was spent all evenings by cleaning his shoes:)

Allen and the shoe:)

At the end of the day some people were tired like a dogs.

I had spent amazing 12 days doing vine grapes picking.
Job wasn't to hard. Food was delicious. And the people who I met were great. It was like a holidays from my cycling. Also I got some cash to continue my journey and case of wine. I gonna keep one bottle for myself. Two bottles stays in Lyon with friends. One will be posted to my brother in London. One for my family in Latvia...... that's it

I got one more bottle left....
The special one!!!!!
It has been signed by the winery owners Valerie and Pascal Dalais.
Think I gonna sell it on Ebay for the £1000000 

Dogs Neris and Ferra promoting extremely famous wine :_) 

If you want to spend a bit of money then click on the link below:)))) 
Good investment and a multi purpose drinkable souvenir will be available on Ebay for the next 10 days.

This is it. Tomorrow 27th Sept. I will continue my journey to the Barcelona. Next stop is Valence 130km South from the Lyon.....

UPDATE: My wine bottle just been sold for the £118.
Someone just purchased the best wine in the world. Who is this man? Soon we all will find out:)