Thursday, 6 October 2016

grand cru(ise)

Intoxicatingly, French motorists are being cautioned along the motorways of some wine-producing communities during this year’s harvesting time to drive with care due to the risk of spillage onto the lanes from lorries transporting grapes from the vineyards to processing centres. The warning signs are temporary and will be taken down after the season is over.
Viniculture in much of western Europe was bookended with a pair of Roman festivals called the Vinalia—one in Spring and dedicated to Venus to break open the casts of the previous year’s vintage and prayer for a good growing season, and the second held in the early Autumn, dedicated to Jupiter (who controls the weather) as a pre-harvest celebration and selecting of the finest grapes that would be reserved for sacramental wine. I believe that this year was the first time authorities were prompted to install traffic signs but surely there must have been some overflow since ancient times.