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What's On in Burgundy 2018?

St. Vincent Celebrations 2018

January 27-28, st.Veran

St Vincent Festival Burgundy ©BIVB St Vincent Festival Burgundy ®  ©BIVB St. Vincent Festival Burgundy

Every year on the last weekend of January, the winegrowers in Burgundy celebrate and give thanks to their patron, Saint Vincent. Legends abound as to the origins.
It is said that one day St Vincent stopped at a vineyard to chat to one of the wine growers. His donkey started nibbling the young shoots on the vine with the result that the following year, the crop was far more productive. The Saint’s donkey had invented pruning!

Maybe it is just that the time of the celebration corresponds climatically to the transition between the hibernation of the vine and the beginning of the new growth or ’Vincent’, a derivation of ’vin sang’ or blood of the vine. However you like to interpret it, this is a celebration which has been going on since Medieval times.

There are ‘confréries’ or associations of vignerons in each wine village but the grandest of all is the Confrérie des Chavaliers du Tastevin founded in 1938. On the Saturday morning, dressed in their scarlet robes and full regalia carrying banners, the members process through the streets leading the statue of their saint to celebrate mass followed by a wine tasting and banquet.

The venue for the occasion rotates each year and of course is an highly prestigious event for the organisers. Over two days the festival 2018 will be in full swing in St. Véran and the village will be decorated for the occasion by hundreds of volunteers.

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