The sleepy village of Puligny Montrachet produces the greatest white wines of Burgundy but the place itself is unknown to outsiders. The lives of its inhabitants are shaped by the quiet rhythms of the agricultural year, punctuated by the intense activity of the harvest, when Puligny is invaded by boisterous pickers and tractors echo down narrow ...Read MoreThe sleepy village of Puligny Montrachet produces the greatest white wines of Burgundy but the place itself is unknown to outsiders. The lives of its inhabitants are shaped by the quiet rhythms of the agricultural year, punctuated by the intense activity of the harvest, when Puligny is invaded by boisterous pickers and tractors echo down narrow streets carrying grapes to cellars. This book is a vivid and evocative journal of everyday life in rural France, taking us through the cycle of seasons, from the bonfires of winter prunings to the extraordinary celebrations of the feast of St Vincent. The book includes an insight into life in the village school, gossip, the politics of local elections and the drama of the vintage.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-04-19 Wine is at the center of this intriguing study of a rural French village. For some 700 years, we are told, work, family life and society in PulignyMontrachet have revolved around the production of its noble white burgundies. Loftus, a British wine merchant and writer ( Anatomy of the Wine Trade ), demonstrates an intimate knowledge of Puligny's history, people, vines, soils, climates, crus, grandes domaines and various plagues that have decimated its vineyards. He also supplies authoritative descriptions of the celebrations, feuds and despairs of the vintners. Although Loftus fortifies his discussion with much technical wine talk, there is nothing technical about his love for the village and its vines. He writes feelingly about the infinitesimal climatic shifts that can make the difference between a great burgundy and a poor one; about the beauty of an 18th-century land-register that details exactly the houses, trees, vineyard subdivisions and ownership of each fraction of land; and about his own passion for ``the scent of those white burgundies (a mixture of fresh straw and ripe peaches . . . suggestions of woodsmoke, of honey and of freshly sawn oak).'' Photos not seen by PW. (May)
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