I'm very pleased that I painted this little picture when I did, as the vines are sadly no longer there. In fact there are no vines around us at all any more.
When we first settled in our village 37 years ago, every household had their own vines, and, naturally, made their own wine. At harvest time we would go to a different neighbour every morning, gather the grapes, gently crush them through a metal mangle, take them to the cellar, then transfer the grapes/juice mixture to the huge oval wooden 'cuves'. As far as I understood, it was then simply a matter of waiting two weeks before the wine was drawn off via a tap at the bottom. This new wine was deliciously fruity, but after a few months it always turned into what is known here as 'piquette'; somewhere beween wine and vinegar, an aquired taste! (The French word for vinegar is 'vinaigre'; literally 'sour wine').
Apart from the vines in the picture having disappeared, nothing much has changed. Our little cottage (in the distance with tree in front) is still standing. The randomly dotted fruit trees still provide treats for the cows in autumn. And the field boundaries are still roughly in the same places..... But, I do miss the vines.
I enjoy this type of loose oil-sketching. It's really just drawing with paint. I don't think I dated this picture, but I imagine it must have been around 1980.