Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, though the concept behind ‘giving thanks’ can actually be found in many countries. For example, in Burgundy, France there is the Saint Vincent Tournante. A very French take on thanks giving.
This is a festival that is normally held during the last weekend of January. It honours St Vincent, the patron saint of wine makers. The festival is a chance to gather and give thanks to the past years harvest.
Each Year is Different
Villages take it in turn to host the fete each year. It’s a wonderful opportunity to visit different lesser known places, mingle amongst the locals and taste wines you will probably never come across outside of France.
The whole village is decorated and closed off to traffic. Wandering about, glass in hand, you will be able to try wines, buy local foods and enjoy music, performances and processions. Each festivals unique location makes certain that each year is different from the last.
Buy your Glass
When you arrive at the outskirts of the village you will come across small booths. Here is where you purchase or pickup your reserved tasting wine glass. These glasses vary each year in style, with a unique logo etched on the glass. It’s not uncommon for locals to collect these glasses year in and year out.
The price can vary a lot, depending on which village or town is hosting. I have paid as little as 5 euros in some lesser known wine areas in Burgundy. But it can range upwards to 20 euros for the more famous towns and villages. A bargain either way as these tasting glasses can be never endingly filled. And especially as this event takes place over 2 days, so you can in fact return the following day. Glass in hand should you wish.
Feel Like a Local
If you have ever wanted to feel like a local, and less like a tourist, in France, this event is your big opportunity. Not well known outside of France, heck even outside of Burgundy, it really is a big party attended mostly by locals.
Of course it being held in January, when it is usually quite cold out, does help in keeping most tourists away. But then, maybe the tasting of the wine and convivial atmosphere will aid in warming your toes.
For more information on this years’ Saint Vincent Tournante (<- click on the link).
Shop Wine Lover Gifts
As someone who has worked in all aspects of wine, and also likes to quaff, I am always on the search for interesting, unique and particularly French wine items for my vintage and antiques shop. Here’s a taste of some of the things I have found:
Simply click on an image to see more…