How to celebrate the best wines Burgundy has to offer
Burgundy was the winiest wine, the central, essential, and typical wine, the soul and greatest common measure of all of the kindly wines of the earth” - Charles Edward Montague
Burgundy is synonymous with wine, in fact, it has a higher number of AOC classifications than any other French region. There are some pretty spectacular wines that originate from Burgundy, particularly from the Côte d’Or. The majority of wines found in the region are dry red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes and white wines made from Chardonnay grapes.
Visitors to the region should undoubtedly indulge in some wine tasting and vineyard tours, we have some fantastic cycling, walking and canal cruise holidays on offer, which all give you a chance to taste the best wines that this region has to offer.
Unsurprisingly, Burgundy is very proud of its wine, so much so, that there are a number of wine festivals which take place every year. Here is our guide to the most famous festivals in the region you should try and visit if you have a chance!
Festival of St Vincent
St Vincent is the patron saint of winegrowers, so it makes sense to have a festival devoted to him! Unusually, this festival takes place in the month of January, the coldest time of the year, often in snow! It’s organised by the Brotherhood of Burgundy Winegrowers called the Confriére des Chevaliers. The location of the festival alternates each year between different villages. So what happens? You would think that the village is summer, as it is awash with flowers, but the flowers are actually made from paper, literally thousands of intricate, brightly coloured paper flowers. The festival begins with a procession of around 100 winegrowers through the village, carrying the statue of St Vincent, and ending with a Church mass. The festival is officially open! Over the weekend, many of the winegrowers will open their cellars for tasting, and there is lots of entertainment and street food available. Next year, the festival takes place in Mercurey from 28-29 January. Luckily for you, our Wine List Wanders walking tour stops in Mercurey, so get booked in if you want to try and see this Festival!
Les Trois Glorieuses de Bourgogne
Called the Three Glorious Days, this festival takes place on the third weekend in November in Beaune. The Festival centres around the Wine Auction which is the oldest wine auction in the world. It dates from 1859 when the first auction took place selling 189 barrels of Burgundy wine.
It all begins with a street festival; and again, open cellars where people can taste the wines. There is a Fête as well as a half-marathon through the vineyards.
The second day is when the auction takes place in the Hospice, and still, to this day, a proportion of the money raised goes to the Hospice to help with the upkeep. The auction raises over €5 million.
Then, on the final day, there’s an invitation only feast to celebrate the grape harvest, and with the opportunity to sample hundreds of wines, you have to learn how to pace yourself!
Our Best of Burgundy cycling tour starts in Beaune, so you should time it right in November so you can experience this wonderful festival for yourself!
If you’d like to tour Burgundy (perhaps outside of wine tasting and vineyards!) then there are plenty of incredible sights to see and places to visit. Please give us a call if you would like to arrange a holiday on one of our tours, we are more than happy to help you tailor an itinerary.
Main article images:
Vineyards around Mercurey - By Mpmpmp - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
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