Hesiod’s ancient Greek phrase “works and days of hands” came clear in the caves of La Champagne under Epernay . Each delicately balanced magnum of Champagne contains a week’s worth of a man’s working life, and there will be more hours dedicated to each by the time they are sold from the winery. Thousands of these bottles line one, relatively short, tunnel.
While that tunnel was only long enough to have been bricked by four men on a good day, there were enough MILES of these quarries to lend perspective to the length of time human hands had been quarrying here.
That we fill these historical cross-paths with ever-more delicious champagne is karmic testament to the lives lived and spent working in these passageways. The perspective of the photo highlights complex aspects of the process and the enormity of effort compiled by the tunnel makers, quarriers, masons and vignerons. These bottles have been riddled but not yet disgorged.
My favorite print of this image has been a large 40X30 matte print on aluminum for a wine collector’s cellar.
Thank you for reading!