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Anthony's Trip Diary

Colourful flower decorations line the village streets.                                       Click to enlarge.
The festival of St Vincent falls at a quiet time in the viticultural calendar. The last week of January is usually bitterly cold and often snowy, yet the Fete St Vincent Tournant attracts several thousand people from across Europe to whichever is the hosting village. The "Tournant" part of the title refers to the way the fete rotates around the villages so that year by year different parts of Burgundy have their chance to host the event. This year it was the turn of Nuits St Georges to decorate itself with paper flowers, display in the streets pieces of ancient wine memorabilia that had been pulled out of sheds and tidied up for the occasion and for the viticulteurs who have their Domaines inside the town to prepare to greet waves of visitors.

The day opened with a huge procession.                                       Click to enlarge. The day opened with a huge procession that wound its way through the streets, culminating in a church service in the town centre. Each of the winegrowing villages was represented in the parade by a number of their vignerons, one holding their banner and others carrying a carving of their patron saint. This year there was not one band but at least two and from early morning until the service at 11.00 the town was packed with visitors following the parade. Any visitor wishing to sample wines buys a glass at one of the official tents and is given several vouchers, one of which is surrendered at each tasting. Armed with your glass and your vouchers you are then free to visit any of the Domaines whose doors are open (which is most of them) and try chilly reds and whites in a chilly street. The atmosphere at Nuits St Georges was enhanced by the train which ran regularly between the centre of Nuits and the adjoining village of Premeaux. When we made the return journey, one of the bands was on the train with us which made for a jolly if extremely cold trip through the frozen vineyards.

Nuits was crowded all day. We however arrived early and left soon after mid-day, as Michel Prunier had organised a not-to-be-missed lunch at La Cremaillere. The photographs I took are probably a better record than any words...

Gallery Title:
St Vincent Tournent ~ 2007

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