Burgundy by Request - Private Guided Tours in Burgundy
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St Vincent
Portes Ouvertes
Wine Tasting in Burgundy (Part 1)
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Fete du village

St Vincent

January 22nd is St Vincent’s day and the traditional day for the pruning of the vineyards to start.  Last year I wrote about being a privileged guest at the private winemakers’ festival of St Vincent.

Not much is known about St Vincent, the patron saint of winegrowers although there are many legends about him.  However he is most likely their patron saint due to the play on words ‘vin’ wine and ‘cent’, one hundred, or from a Christians perspective it is the words ‘vin’ win and ‘sang’ blood that make the name of the Saint.


Chevaliers du TastevinMany of you will be more familiar with the St Vincent Tournante, held on the weekend following the 22 January, in one of the wine growing villages.  This year exceptionally, three towns are hosting the event simultaneously, Dijon, Nuits Saint Georges and Beaune in honour of the Climats of Burgundy.  It is part of the on-going campaign for the inclusion of the Climats of Burgundy on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

It’s probably a great year to visit this year as being held in three separate places, the visitors will be spread out a bit so it shouldn’t be as crowded.  It will also be more accessible as there are special trains running between the towns with a special price of 5€ for travel between them, this will also get you a discount of 3€ on the entry price of 15€.  If you have to come from further afield, the price is 7€ from all over Burgundy, again entitling you to a 3€ reduction on the entry price.

The entrance fee provides you with an engraved glass, a glass carrying pouch to hang around your neck and a bracelet of 7 tokens which you can exchange at each wine tasting stand.  Each town will have several ‘Pavilions’ representing seven themes and you have the opportunity to taste each theme, they are:
Chablis and the Yonne, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, le Maconnais, le Cote de Nuits, Crement de Bourgogne and regional Burgundy
St Vincent 2012 

This years St Vincent really is a fantastic opportunity to taste wine from all the regions of Burgundy in one day, not something that happens very often.
For those who can’t make it to the St Vincent Tournante next weekend, there is also the St Vincent de Beaune, held this weekend in Beaune, where you will be able to taste the wines of Beaune.

Happy Tasting
 
 


Portes Ouvertes

Oh how I love this time of year, the evenings are lighter, the days are getting warmer and this year the sun is shining already.  Everyone in Burgundy is coming out of the winter hibernation and there is a ‘Portes Ouvertes’ or ‘Fete du Village’ practically every weekend.




This weekend we had a choice of two events, a Portes Ouvertes at Chateau de la Velle in Meursault or the Fête du Bouzeron et du Persillé de Bourgogne
What a dilemma and what is the difference between them?  In general a Portes Ouvertes is held once a year by local businesses, it is literally, ‘open doors’ when everyone is welcome to have a browse around, with absolutely no obligation to purchase.  Not only do you get to browse but you often are able to see many parts of the company that are normally closed to the public, great if you are a bit curious like me!  So when you next see the signs – go ahead and have a look around, it’s the perfect way to go wine tasting if you feel as if you don’t want to interrupt.  And an extra bonus is that the wine is often being sold off at a discounted price and believe me, that doesn’t happen very often in Burgundy.
A Fête du Village in Burgundy is similar to a British village fete but a fete with a difference.  The difference is that you generally have to pay to enter the village – however in return you receive an engraved glass and a booklet of coupons.  You then amble around the village holding out your glass and a coupon at which ever wine tasting stand takes your fancy.  A slurping size portion of wine will be poured in to it for you to enjoy.
This gives you an excellent opportunity to try out several vignerons in the same village, all at the same time.  This means next time you are here, you can go direct to the vigneron to try out all of his wines, knowing that you are sure to like something and therefore sure to make a purchase.  Which will make you a welcome guest as the whole purpose of going wine tasting is to actually buy some wine - isn't it?
For a family eye view of the Fête du Bouzeron et du Persillé de Bourgogne, have a look at this blog.
For photos of the Portes Ouvertes at Chateau de la Velle in Meursault and the early bud burst, take a look here.
For professional photos of the same event, have at look at the photos by Jim Tanner of JETGRAPHICS, www.jetpix.fr