10 October 2008

La Fête de la Branda - the Still

Each October you'll find the Fête de la Branda in Gorbio village. Branda is the Provençal word for marc, the marc de Provence, which actually has two meanings: either the fermented grape pulp, seeds, and stems that remain after the grapes are pressed for their juice, or the actual potent distilled alcohol. You can read more by clicking on last year's link.

Above is one of the two stills. The small photograph on the left shows the fermented grape pulp after distillation.

Tomorrow we'll wander about the village and see what else is going on...if we can stay upright, that is. The Branda is strong stuff.


  1. Great post Jilly.
    I may have to pass on trying this out, I can't handle strong drinks. But I love the fun atmosphere of the "distillerie".

  2. Oh, and yesterday's sunbather was great. That's exactly what I would need. Lying on the beach there and then going for a long swim thinking of Sally.

  3. I had never heard about that, I only knew about calvados in Normandie!

  4. Oh,Great,well done!
    I never had heared about it.

    Jilly,my blog is updated with 7 photos!!

  5. I am LOL> This is just a great contraption JIly. French moonshine???? What does it taste like? I thought brandy maybe?

  6. Have you ever counted up how many fetes there are in Gorbio? There seems to be something every other week! Amazing for such a tiny place. I'd like to come to the fete of the Laundrywomen and watch a contest at the laverie!

  7. These are just beautiful photographs, Jilly. They remind me a lot of West Virginia moonshine and the stills there like my grandpa had and went to prison for. It looked just like water and was 100 proof and called, "White Lightening." YOu had to be sitting when you took a drink or you would be shortly after swallowing.

    That sort of reminds me that I just finished a story about my first theft and the price I paid for it.

    It is on http://gordonohio.blogspot.com/ if you are interested.

  8. I'm with Abe. I thought these things only existed in the backwoods of the Ozarks and such places.

    I'm reminded of two songs, White Lightnin' by ??? and Thunder Road by Robert Mitchum.

    Keep a safe distance Jilly. These things are quite famous for blowing up.

  9. There was quite a community of Italian immigrants to Mendocino and the other wine growing counties of this area. They brought their grappa making technology with them, which was especially useful during the American "prohibition" days.


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