Thursday, June 20, 2013

Host Family and Viticulture

As promised, here's the details of the host family I'll be spending the month of July with. I will be staying in the Midi-Pyrenees region in the district of Tarn and I'll be working on the family's vineyard. They haven't told me what my duties are yet, but hopefully I will find out soon! They have a son who is 11 years old and a daughter who is 6 years old, and I am really looking forward to meeting all of them.

This week has flown by! We had our first viticulture lesson this past Monday where they taught us the basics of wine tasting, and in the afternoon we had our usual French lesson. On Tuesday we had our second viticulture lesson and then they told us about our host families! Everybody was so excited to finally find out where they would be placed for the month of July. Then on Wednesday we had our french lesson in the morning, and that afternoon we got to visit the school's experimental farm. This was actually pretty cool to see. My favorite part was seeing the cow get milked. It was amazing because the machine was programmed to know the cows and to know how much pressure to use when milking that particular cow. The machine also used a sensor to locate the utter on its own, which I thought was pretty amazing.

Cow's at Purpan's experimental farm.

The cow being milked.

Today was also an exciting day! We got to visit two vineyards and wineries. The first winery we visited was Abbaye de Fontfroide. It used to be an abbey, but it wasn't converted into a winery after it was abandoned by the monks. The second winery we visited was Chateau l'Hospitalet, which was a more modern facility. 

Abbaye de Fontfroide.

The Gardens at Abbaye de Fontfroide.

Wine vats at the abbey.
The vineyard at the abbey.

Some boilermakers in the vineyard!

Chateau l'Hospitalet

The cellar at Chateau l'Hospitalet

A grafted grape vine.

Wine vats at Chateau l'Hospitalet

It's been another fun week here in France, and after visiting these wineries I'm really looking forward to working on a vineyard next month! 


  1. Hello Melissa,

    Hope this greeting finds you in good spirits (no pun intended) ha ha!

    Maybe when you get home you can make some home made wine in your mom and dads basement, Hmmmmmmm, wonder how well that would go over!

    Your pictures are well done- this is a great way to document your trip.

    Be safe, Prayers and Blessings,

    Your friends, Bob and Kelly

    1. Hi Bob and Kelly,

      It's so good to hear from you! I've been having a great time here and maybe by the end of my internship I will be able to make wine in my parents basement haha! Hope you both are doing well and maybe when I come back I can make some French food for you guys!