We've now had several frosts, with temperatures going down to -3C overnight once or twice. The grape vines in the orchard have now shed all their leaves, but there are still unpicked bunches of fruit hanging from increasingly wizened stalks.
The frost doesn't harm the fruits, in fact it may even make them sweeter. There is so much sugar already in each berry that they don't freeze and turn to mush. Here in the Loire there isn't really a tradition of making ice wine from the frosted grapes, but I can continue to enjoy my table grapes for a few more days yet. Soon the sap will recede to such an extent that the stalks will give out and the bunches will all fall to the ground, but before that happens, I'll be making an attempt to eat them myself. Anything remaining I am happy to donate to the wildlife..