In Winter

Finding out what’s on in Burgundy is getting easier, but it is still pretty hit and miss! We strongly recommend that you visit the Tourist Office in Meursault or Beaune to find out precise details.

However, on these pages we let you know about things that seem to happen every year and then, when we discover specifics, we give you details so that, if you want to, you can book in advance and not miss out! Please bear with us though as it is painstaking work and things can be changed without our knowing about it!

Where the year is specified, that’s what we have discovered is planned. Where no year is specified, that’s what seems to happen every year, but there is no guarantee! Just shout if you need help with anything.

Please note that some events run across months, so do skim the whole thing so that you don’t miss something interesting in Februaryis described under December!

This page currently covers 2019. We will update to 2020 when we have information.

 

There is no doubt that Winter is the quietest time of year especially as far as commercial tourism goes. But if you pick your time and hook in to someone like our friend Pascal, you will be able to discover many gems that others will never see.

 

Saint Vincent Tournante

The pictures above are just one such example – the celebration of the Saint Vincent Tournante (patron saint of winemakers) which happens over a weekend in late January every year. The villages of Burgundy take it in turns to host the celebrations – hence the “Tournante”.

The host village is beautifully decorated (people work on it all the previous year). There are many stalls selling food and wine, exhibits, marching bands and processions – fab! In Saint Aubin, who hosted the festival in 2014, there were about 30,000 vistors over the two days – so it’s quite an event…

Every Burgundian village comes along with its village statue of Saint Vincent and they all parade through the streets. It is such a delight to catch all of those famous names filing by!

 

On entering the host village, you buy a glass and some tickets which allow you to taste wines as you walk around. There are even snazzy wine glass slings that you suspend round your neck so that your wine glass can fit snugly next to you whilst you keep your hands free!

Then you take your time (in 2014 we spent four hours) having a leisurely wander around the village, the exhibits and the stalls. Pick up little bits of cheese and ham to accompany your wine tasing. Have some oysters done on the barbecue with cream and/or white wine, or settle down to something more substantial.

It is great family fun with wine tasting thrown in. Perfect!

On 24 January there were the solemn events such as a ceremony at the Monument to the Dead, mass (by invitation only!!!) with the proceedings being transmitted onto a big screen for the Hoi Poloi. At 11.30 there was an introduction of old Vignerons into the equivalent of the Wine Hall of Fame, but at 11.15 (until 17.00)  the caveaux opened their doors for tastings! Tastings also took place the following day from 10.30 until 17.00.

On Saturday, the proceedings were followed by a seven course banquet with nine different wines to taste. Sounds good to me!

 

Other winter festivities

But let’s roll back a little as Sain Vincent Tournante is by no means the only event in Winter…

Nightly from Wednesday 30 November until Sunday 4 December (20.30 until 22.30) we have the Beaune Blues Boogie festival! Their website BBB2016.fr is currently still talking about 2015, but there is still time…

On the first Sunday in December  there is a Chocolate Fair in the Salle des fetes in Santenay. Master chocolatiers from the region bring their chocolates to taste and buy. 10.00 until 18.00.

The other main events in Burgundy in Winter are of course Christmas, New Year and Three Kings (6 January). These are great times to explore the markets (including Christmas markets), enjoy the proliferation of oysters and other seafood and take advantage of the scenery and the place witout hordes of people.

Starting closer to home first…

 

 

I am sitting here at 10pm writing this on 9 December. It is cold, very cold (not in the house of course). But it is cold because of the clear, clear skies which make the days beautiful and the sun warm on the skin (until about 16.00 at least!). Of course the weather is variable at this time of year, but then it’s Winter!

We have been finishing up our Christmas shopping in Beaune and Chalon-Sur-Saone (a bit further away but well worth the visit). We have put up a few decorations for our Australian guests who are arriving on Sunday and staying in both houses. And we have been seeing old friends, tasting some gorgeous wines along the way.

So what else is on in and around the Cote d’Or in winter?

Go and see the illuminations in Beaune! 12 December to 12 January

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand frais
Go to basics
Go to tastings
Go to foodies’ corner
A fabulous charcuterie in beaune - Mainson Raillard, used by visitors to our vacation rental in Puligny Montrachet
Go to shops
Font in Chalon
Go to the pot pourri

 

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