Tomorrow sees the official start of the harvesting of the grape, with a colourful day of pageantry and celebration in Avignon
Tomorrow, the main event will happen from 10am until midday. The capital of the Côtes du Rhone and beautiful papal city of Avignon will mark the start of the vendanges with the celebratory march of the confréries bachiques – the brotherhood of wine professionals and wine experts. Mass will be celebrated, cue to the whole town going all festive, with amusements, shows and various forms of entertainment for young and old on the streets of the old city in the area known as the Rocher des Doms on the left bank of the River Rhône.
There will be markets with food tasting and wine tasting, as well as the proclamation of the opening of the wine harvest and a harvest ball, with free access for all. For anyone finding themselves in the area, here is the programme:– 10:00 Mass at the Eglise Saint Agricol
– 11:30 Departure of the traditional march of the Confréries Bachiques to the Place du Palais
– 12:15 Celebrating Avignon at the town hall
– 15:00 (onwards) Amusements and entertainment based on the theme of old trades in the Garden of the Rocher des Doms
– 18:00 Departure of the Confréries Bachiques with fanfare at the Cours Jean Jaurès
– 18:00 (onwards) Food market and selling of the Cuvée des Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône
– 19:00 Proclamation of the Ban des Vendanges des Côtes du Rhône, including wine tastings sponsored by Gadagne
– Later… Pressing and tasting of the grape juice
– 21:00 The Wine Harvest Ball (Bal des Vendanges) with local group Les Invendables until midnight
See the Ban des Vendanges website here.