St Vincent Tournant

I just want to preface this post by saying that I am about to go against journalistic protocall and write about an event that is no longer newsworthy.  I went to school to study journalism, so I realize my mistake and I apologize (I guess mostly to myself because most of you wont even care).

With that being said, last weekend was the Saint Vincent Tournant. This event started in the 30’s and is a celebration of winemakers.  Saint Vincent is the patron saint of winemakers.  The word tournant means turning and is significant because the venue”turns” or changes villages each year.  This year I was lucky because it was held in Corgoloin (5 minutes from Nuits St. George).  During this festival the village is decorated with tissue paper flowers made by the people in the village (takes about a year’s work to make them all).  Of course the main attraction is the dégustation of the regions wine.  Each year the selection changes (one red, one white) but it always features wine from Bourgogne.

Normally you enter the village, pay a fee and receive a wine glass and about 8 tickets to enter the various tastings.  I went on Sunday morning with David and Louis-Auguste and due to the freezing temperatures we just walked around a while and then headed home to sit in front of the fire!  But during our walk I did get to see the making of a wine barrel which was neat.  Nowadays there are machines to cut the wood (during the demonstrations it was done by hand) but the barrel itself is still handmade!  I was told that the test to become a craftsman of this sort is to make a barrel in 8 hours.  Seems like quite a feat after watching the slow progress of heating, bending, banging, repeating…

All in all a very nice wine festival.  If I ever do it again I would like to see the traditional “ceremony” that takes place on the first day (the event lasts Saturday and Sunday).

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