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.
Many 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
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.