Oh how I love this time of year, the evenings are lighter, the days are getting warmer and this year the sun is shining already. Everyone in Burgundy is coming out of the winter hibernation and there is a ‘Portes Ouvertes’ or ‘Fete du Village’ practically every weekend.
This weekend we had a choice of two events, a Portes Ouvertes at Chateau de la Velle in Meursault or the Fête du Bouzeron et du Persillé de Bourgogne
What a dilemma and what is the difference between them? In general a Portes Ouvertes is held once a year by local businesses, it is literally, ‘open doors’ when everyone is welcome to have a browse around, with absolutely no obligation to purchase. Not only do you get to browse but you often are able to see many parts of the company that are normally closed to the public, great if you are a bit nosey curious like me! So when you next see the signs – go ahead and have a look around, it’s the perfect way to go wine tasting if you feel as if you don’t want to interrupt. And an extra bonus is that the wine is often being sold off at a discounted price and believe me, that doesn’t happen very often in Burgundy.
A Fête du Village in Burgundy is similar to a British village fete but a fete with a difference. The difference is that you generally have to pay to enter the village – however in return you receive an engraved glass and a booklet of coupons. You then amble around the village holding out your glass and a coupon at which ever wine tasting stand takes your fancy. A slurping size portion of wine will be poured in to it for you to enjoy.
This gives you an excellent opportunity to try out several vignerons in the same village, all at the same time. This means next time you are here, you can go direct to the vigneron to try out all of his wines, knowing that you are sure to like something and therefore sure to make a purchase. Which will make you a welcome guest as the whole purpose of going wine tasting is to actually buy some wine - isn't it?
For a family eye view of the Fête du Bouzeron et du Persillé de Bourgogne, have a look at this blog.
For photos of the Portes Ouvertes at Chateau de la Velle in Meursault and the early bud burst, take a look here.