After the storm


Finally back home, on a definite basis for the first time in about two years… Feels very odd, but Vouvray decided to welcome me in a very special way…

We arrived late afternoon on Sunday, a very hot day, the very first one of the season. By the time we went to sleep, the sky was already bursting into lightning, one of these silent and dry storm. Somehow I found myself awake at 4 in the morning and decided to watch the storm. It was all so still, very hot. Then the wind started to blow and I knew it was coming. It started raining, and I could hear heavy hail falling every once in a while. The bedrooms are all upstairs, meaning under the roof, and within five minutes I was petrified on my bed, in the middle of the room wondering how long the roof would hold. The noise was horrifying, I had never heard anything that violent before and I have to admit I ran downstairs like a scared little girl to hide myself under a table or something… Everyone was already downstairs, my dad frantic about his car…

After what? 15 minutes, the hail stopped, the ground had piles and I mean PILES of hail, some of the drops being as big as golf balls. The window of my car was absolutly smashed into a million pieces, my dad’s brand new car covered in bumps, two windows of the house were smashed and the roof of our building accross the street had a million holes. All the neighbours were out on the street at 5 in the morning, trying to see what could be saved.

That’s when you realized how powerless you are when nature has decided otherwise. For us, being from a winemaker family and a wine region, hail it is our nightmare. It means the end of your season, the destruction of your vines. This kind of hail hasn’t been seen before around here, and we did not even get the slightest warning when half of France was on red warning for storms. When the light came out, we realized the vines were absolutly destroyed. It is heartbreaking to look at it, the branches are cut open, like open wounds, no grapes are left and by the look of the damages if we can get grapes out of them in three years it will be a miracle. And I’m not even talking about the poor little rabbits, painfully carrying their broken legs.

The weather was very hot yesterday, yet, the ice would not melt. 30° and the piles of ice are still there. Of course, today was raining and it was a race to cover the house so the inside stay dry.

I guess we have to be grateful that no one was physically hurt. But when your neighbours have lost everything, it is hard to see the bright side.

Better days will come…




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