I was in a positive mood about the blog yesterday, very high reading figures after my article about the St. Chinian vineyard. I had a post in preparation about the new Puimisson vineyards of Jeff Coutelou, especially the exciting project to boost nature in the Peilhan vineyard. This photo taken at the end of September shows the hedge and fruit trees which Jeff has nurtured there to bring biodiversity to an area which is very much a monoculture of vines.
This work had been disrupted back in 2016 and 2017 by the acts of a vandal who set fire to the first trees and plants which Jeff put in. That person also burned other parts of Jeff’s vineyards, destroying more trees, plants and vines. I was based in France at that time and spent much of my time with Jeff. I know how hurt he was by those attacks for doing something which he, and all right minded people, saw as helping to improve the area. Whether jealousy, bitterness or madness the acts of the vandal or vandals were criminal. Then things seemed to stop, there were no more attacks. Until yesterday.
It was a shock to receive a message from Jeff in the afternoon that he had just returned from Peilhan to find 500m of the hedgerow destroyed and still smoking when he was there, 500 trees included. To burn that much plantation the criminal had planned their actions, using petrol to target the length of the hedge.
It is just sickening, I am angry and frustrated and I can only imagine how Jeff must feel at this attack on everything he stands for. The messages of support he has received will boost his morale but I can only hope that he feels strong enough to fight back.
Quick update – Jeff just posted this photo, he will fight back and trust in nature