Great Wine Festivals (You May not Have Heard About)

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France has the broadest range of wines available in any country, as well as being the top wine producing nation in the world

Lucky, then, that it’s not so far away from us!

From heady reds to light and fruity whites, there is nothing quite like the experience of tasting wine in its place of birth. France has many festivals that celebrate their local varieties and here are a few that might be worth noting in the diary, as selected by the French national tourism marketing organisation Atout France.

1: Broaching of the Yellow Wine – Jura

Straight from the barrel: the broaching in the Jura

Straight from the barrel: the broaching in the Jura

The Jura département is known for its production of the distinctive vin jaune, or yellow wine, which is made from the Savagnin grape and stored in barrels for over 6 years, similar to process of making Sherry. Every year, the Jura region celebrates the wine by broaching and tasting the first barrels before they are bottled. To mark the occasion, locals of the area allow tourists to visit their barns and wine cellars, where they can sample this fantastic wine for themselves.

Dates: 1st – 2nd February 2015

2: The Weekend of the Grands Crus

Grand evening by the Gironde: Weekend of the Grands Crus

Grand evening by the Gironde: Weekend of the Grands Crus

This great festival gives you an opportunity to discover some of the best wine labels of Bordeaux. Over two days, attendees are introduced to delicious local wines and the secrets behind their creation and also get the opportunity to learn about wine and food parings. There is also a chance to take a trip to a vineyard and visit the homes of members of the Union of the Grands Crus of Bordeaux.

Dates: 30th -31st May 2015

3: Wine-Growers’ Festival in Eguisheim

Party-time for Alsations: A scene from the colourful wine festival at Eguisheim

Party-time for Alsations: A scene from the colourful wine festival at Eguisheim

The Wine-Growers’ festival is the biggest of its kind in Alsace, an area known for its production of excellent dry white wine. The festival brings together more than 15,000 wine lovers who get to sample delicious wine and enjoy the music of five different orchestras playing in different parts of the village. Wine growers also invite attendees to visit their cellars and, on the final day, there is a wonderful procession through the village featuring music and floats.

Dates: 29th -30th August 2015

4: Vitiloire Festival

Mmm... tastes like Loire Valley!

Mmm… tastes like Loire Valley!

This excellent wine festival takes place in the city of Tours in the beautiful wine growing region of Val de Loire. For one weekend in May, 150 wine-growers descend upon the city centre where they set up stands and invite the public to come and learn more about their wines. The focus of the Vitiloire is to teach wine-tasting and there are also some great workshops available where you can learn how to do this.

Dates: 30th -31st May 2015

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