12 highlights during Bordeaux Fête le Vin
To whet your appetite... here is a little selection of not-to-be-missed events and activities during the five days of the festival.
The Tasting Pass
The tasting pass is without doubt one of the keys to the success of Bordeaux Fête le Vin. A glass in one hand and a Pass in the other, wearing their glass-carrier around their necks, tens of thousands of visitors will be strolling between the pavilions, in a festive, relaxed atmosphere, exploring the diversity of Bordeaux and Nouvelle-Aquitaine wines, and meeting the winegrowers and wine merchants of this great region.
Tours of the Tall Ships
Kruzensthern, Tarangini, Belle Poule, Étoile du Roy, Atyla, El GaleÓn, Belem, Vera Cruz… Just the sound of their names is an invitation to imagine a voyage on the high seas! Of the 30 ships that will be present, more than twenty will be open for tours. A unique opportunity to see how they function, learn about their often turbulent history, meet their crews and breathe a little of the air of the high seas and adventure that they exude! To take full advantage of these tours, we recommend the paying tours in the mornings, for which reservations can be made.
Famed all over the world for lighting up the skies on the occasion of spectacular celebrations, the Group F magicians are back in Bordeaux, five years after their magnificent display for the inauguration of the Chaban-Delmas bridge. They have promised an exotic and very noisy procession down the Garonne river followed by a grandiose pyrotechnic explosion.
Love, love, love
The organic winegrowers will be holding a celebration on Friday 15 June in the evening, in a location that upholds their values: the great hall in the Darwin centre. Paul Daniel, the director of the National Orchestra of Bordeaux-Aquitaine, will be accompanying the tasting, adding a few Beatles tunes to the symphony orchestra’s repertoire, with some excerpts from Sergeants Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A nod and a wink from the English director to Liverpool, the city from which the Tall Ships Regatta will be departing.
Set sail on one of the old ships
Three of the ships will be offering daily excursions on the Garonne, between the Pont de Pierre (stone bridge) and the Chaban-Delmas bridge. A one-hour boat trip to see Bordeaux with a river-view of the majestic façade of the quays, and a tour of the fleet moored on the left bank.
The festival spirit
Throughout the four days, marching bands, choirs, and rock bands will be performing on stage or parading among the “villages”. The full programme will be unveiled a few days before the festival, but we know already that the performers will include the famous Bagad Lann Bihouée Breton pipe band, the Jaïpur brass band from Rajahsthan, the Banda’Leo, and Mezerg with his boomboom piano. There will also be plenty of dancing with events proposed by Dansons sur les Quais, and Swingtime…
An evening on board
Enjoy a drink at the end of the day on the Garonne, on the bridge of one of the ships. Watch the sunset over the water, and then enjoy ringside seats for the nightly fireworks display…
What more could you ask for? Perhaps some tapas or Dune Blanche pastries? No problem, we’ve got it covered!
A taste of the South-West
The whole of South-West France will be represented along the quays. Naturally its wines will be flowing... there will also be a series of gourmet pavilions, refreshment stalls, and tourism promotion booths that will highlight the products and specialities of the Basque Country, Corrèze, Médoc, Dordogne, Charentes, Lot, Gers, Landes and Limousin… Offering a taste of the “art of living” that makes our unique region so attractive…
Fruits of the earth
Raw foods, plants, fruits and vegetables can make an excellent accompaniment to Bordeaux wines. Chanterelles & Pomerol, Cherries & Pauillac, “Oyster Leaves” & Entre-Deux-Mers… Are among the unusual pairings proposed by “La Ruche Qui Dit Oui!” and the Bordeaux Wine School on the occasion of this unusual workshop.
Union des Grands Crus Weekend
117 Grand Cru wines and their owners will be assembled in Hangar 14, beside the Garonne, for an exceptional day which will pay tribute to the 2015 vintage. As part of Bordeaux Fête le Vin, the event has two parts: an open tasting during the day, and then a buffet reception in the evening. The excellence of Bordeaux wines in a delightful setting...
Of Rivers and Vineyards
In the middle of the festival, under the plane trees opposite the Place des Quinconces, a temporary structure will be erected with an exhibition that offers a voyage through more than a thousand years of history: which links Bordeaux’s wines to the Garonne river, to the estuary and to the oceans. The exhibition trail evokes the appearance of vitis biturica in the Roman town of Burdigala, and shows the various vessels that were used to transport wine over the centuries; it recalls the period of English rule and the fashion for French claret, and the role of the Dutch in the development of sweet wines…
The tall ships have other ports of call and, after four days in Bordeaux, they will leave in a procession, to return to the open seas and continue their voyages, accompanied by the sound of foghorns and cannon fire. An occasion not to be missed; you can even participate in the first stage of the voyage, from Bordeaux to Pauillac, aboard the Étoile du Roy…
Highlight number thirteen
Since it is supposed to be a lucky number, we thought we would suggest one last not-to-be-missed event: if you buy your Tasting Pass before midnight on 10 June, you will be entered in the Bordeaux Fête le Vin twentieth anniversary Grand Tombola. There are numerous prizes to be won, thanks to the generosity of our partners, including a trip for two to Hong Kong, on the occasion of the Wine and Dine Festival, one of the partner wine festivals organized abroad.