TDN Weekend

February 2017

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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Page 24 of 75

E ven on a grey winter day, the Normandy landscape draws you into its repose. Villages huddle around their church- es in misty folds of damp pasture, smoke idling from the chimneys of timber cot- tages. Ghostly poplars taper into a low, vaporous sky. Sometimes this thins out sufficiently for a cold silver disc to peer down on the orchards, before fading away again as though to preserve the warmth it will need to coax them back into the gaudy blossom of spring. To everything its sea- son. For it is not just the cider, fermenting quietly in its casks, that is renewing the timeless, patient cycles of local husband- ry. In the swollen barrels of thoroughbred mares, on stud farms throughout Norman- dy, another furtive mystery is unfolding – one of no less certain yield, daily accru- By CHRIS MCGRATH 25

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