The Bordeaux Wine Festival begins on June 26th and covers 4 days to June 29th. This is a fantastic opportunity to visit the great wine capital and is open to the general public – unlike many other wine related events. You can find information and purchase tickets at http://www.bordeaux-fete-le-vin.com/. The Festival is absolutely crammed with attractions, concerts, light shows, fire works, tall ships, barrel rolling races, parades and, of course, wine!
The Tasting Pass costs €13 and is valid for all 4 days, and will be available for purchase at the entry point of the site, and from the Bordeaux Tourist Office. This includes one INAO glass and a booklet of 12 tasting tickets, it entitles pass holders to tastings at the:
Appellations Pavilion (Bordeaux – Bordeaux Supérieur, Blancs d’Or (sweet white Bordeaux wines), Blancs secs de Bordeaux (dry white Bordeaux wines) , Côtes de Bordeaux, Médoc and Graves, Saint-Emilion-Pomerol-Fronsac, brand wines, wines from Aquitaine,)
Pavillons Millésimes (“Vintage Pavilions”) (Castel, Cordier Mesterzat, Ginestet).
The Vineyard Pass costs €70 per person but if you have also purchased a Tasting Pass it will cost €80. Five different excursions will be on offer between Thursday and Sunday
for the following destinations: Bordeaux, Médoc, Saint-Emilion, Graves-Sauternes, sites of special interest represented by the ‘Best Ofs’ in wine tourism. On Saturday, 2 additional excursions are on offer: Entre-deux-Mers and Bergerac. On Sunday there will be excursions to the Haute-Gironde and the vineyards of Duras and of the Marmande area. (Departure from the place des Quinconces between 9 and 10 am depending on the destinations – Guided luxury bus tour including 3 visits of properties with tasting and lunch basket )
“The Best of Wine Tourism” is a yearly award given in recognition to the properties which have been the most efficient and innovative in their welcome of the public to their properties, and which makes their discovery captivating and exciting. This year the Bordeaux Wine Festival has decided this year to highlight some of these properties, by organising a tour “Best Of”. You can visit many chateaux but do look out for:
Château d’Agassac, with its medieval origins dating back to the 13th Century
Château Giscours, which was built by the Count de Pescatore, a great Parisian banker, in 1847 in order to impress the Empress Eugénie (France’s last Empress and wife of Prince Louis Napoleon). The château is the home of Bordeaux Cricket Club.
Château Kirwan, and also enjoy, thanks to the charm and the passion of one family, the jewel of the 18th, the magnificent gardens of the château.
On Thursday the Confréries (Wine Brotherhoods) Parade takes place through the streets
On Saturday the giant Banquet of Bacchus is being held and there is also a Barrel Roller’s Race which is continued on Sunday as well.
This year will be the 10th anniversary of the Bordeaux Wine Festival and in order to mark the occasion the Bordeaux Town Hall and the Tourist Office have decided to offer visitors from all over the world a new setting for the celebration. The 2008 Festival will take place on the quays of the left bank of the Garonne, from the Pont de Pierre to the Bourse Maritime. Everyone who loves wine, food,celebration, and culture is invited to a share unique moments of pleasure and camaraderie in the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city of Saint Petersburg will be the guest of honour at the 2008 Bordeaux Wine Festival, following in the footsteps of Oporto, Munich, and Fukuoka. A pavilion will be devoted to this city, with which Bordeaux has developed numerous exchanges in the fields of aerospace, scientific research, language education, art, and culture.
The Wine Road between the river and 18th century façades
The Bordeaux Aquitaine National Orchestra (conducted by the talented Kwamé Ryan) and the Bordeaux Opera Choir will give the opening concert on the 26th of June in a harmonious blend of instrumental and vocal music. The musicians and singers will perform Carmina Burana on Place de la Bourse – memorable show in a magnificent setting.
For the first time, there will also be an original and dynamic son et lumière show on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of June. Accompanied by music, this show will include the projection of giant images on the Palais Gabriel.
To the delight of both children and adults, the Port de la Lune will be illuminated with a thousand and one brightly-coloured sequins thanks to a different firework display at the end of each evening.
Placing special emphasis on matching food and wine, the 5 restaurants at Bordo’Mundo will be open on the banks of the Garonne starting on the 20th of June. A parade of vinous brotherhoods, the giant Banquet de Bacchus, and barrel rolling competitions will constitute other highlights of the festival.
You can see the Cuauhtemoc – a Mexican 91me three mast tall ship throughout the Festival. The Cuauhtemoc is normally anchored at the Port of Acapulco and was built in Bilbao in 1986, it has a crew of 275 and is a symbol of the independent fighting spirit of Mexico. The Cuauhtemoc will dock over in Bordeaux for the Fête du Vin, on the Louis XVIII quay, opposite the CAPC. It will be open to visitors everyday and will be the flagship of the opening ceremony, on Thursday the 26th of June at 11 am.
The Musée National des Douanes (Customs National Museum) is holding an exhibition and with a Pass Degustation, you can visit for free.
The Fete de la Fleur is also open – every year, the flowering of the vines is celebrated with a gala evening in a Médoc, Graves,or Sauternes château, where the Commanderie du Bontemps – the largest of the Bordeaux wine brotherhoods – welcomes over a thousand guests: people from the wine trade, journalists, show-biz personalities, politicians, and royalty who share a passion for Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes wines. This year, Bordeaux will be hosting the Fête de la Fleur on the right bank of the Garonne River, near the botanical garden.
The Festival is a spectacular event and well worth a visit by wine lovers and non-wine lovers alike. There is plenty for all to see, admire and enjoy so if you can spare the time. I am sure it will be well patronised so if you are thinking of having a great weekend in Bordeaux book your tickets now and enjoy Bordeaux at play!
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