A duck wants me to share my baguette. Hello duck.
I’m having a working picnic in Auvernier, a little wine-making village just a 10-minute tram ride along the lake from my town of Neuchâtel. Four-and-twenty mallards are napping by the pond. Except this quack who thinks he’s going to get my baguette.
Being an Auvernier duck he surely also likes a glass of the good local wine. I do too, especially the simple seasonal non-filtered whites, but not the flabby chasselas.
Hopping off the tram, I strolled the cob-blestoned village, which is surround-ed in summer by a soft green shawl of grape vines.
Arched doorways lead to wine proprietors’ caves, where the local wine is fermented and bottled.
Peering into the doorway of one of these little wine producers – the stainless steel tanks, the hoses, the sweet fruity aroma – it’s alchemy. I wanted to go in, but nobody was around and I was too shy.
But now here I am on a park bench beside a rippling green pond bedecked with ducks, red dragonflies buzzing, and with Lac de Neuchâtel just over my shoulder, and the Alps beyond still covered in snow.
Oh, OK duck, here you go. Bon apetit.