The 2017 fête des Crus

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If somebody said to you "it's fête time in the Beaujolais region" many of you would automatically think of the third Thursday in November, the release date of Beaujolais Nouveau wines. It is the flagship event in the Beaujolais winegrowing area that is eagerly anticipated around the globe. But it's not the only fête.

The Beaujolais region has many fêtes and festivals throughout the year. In the spring, there’s the fête des crus

Every year, in April or the beginning of May, the ten Beaujolais crus take turns to celebrate the tapping of barrels of that year’s vintage, in other words the first time the wine is drawn from the barrel to be tested.

 

Each of the ten crus takes turns to organise this event that always has a good-natured, rustic atmosphere. The “host cru” gets top billing, but its neighbours are invited to the party as well.

 

Every year, 20,000 visitors attend the event where they can try all the other crus from the Beaujolais region.

 

In 2016, the 36th Fête des Crus took place in Régnié-Durette. Almost 150 volunteers helped to organise this fête to celebrate the remarkable work of the winegrowers and showcase the latest vintages.

 

The festivities are generally held over a weekend and are very different from one year to the next with each cru choosing a particular theme.

 

In Régnié, this not-to-be missed event in the region included a festival of Francophone music "to combine wine and music!"

The Victor Pulliat competition (Pulliat was a scientist from Chiroubles who saved the vines from phylloxera) is the curtain-raiser for these major festivities in the Beaujolais region. The competition has been running since 1980 and is held just before the celebrations get underway. Prizes are awarded to the best vintages in that particular year in each of the 10 Beaujolais crus.

On the Sunday, the fête traditionally opens with mass and a blessing of the fraternities and the work of the winegrowers.

Outstanding bottles of wine are unearthed from the cellars of a few winegrowers and sold at an auction that is very popular with visitors. The profits are donated to charity.

Fête des crus 2017

 

Fancy coming to the fête? In 2017 it is in Juliénas. The 37th Beaujolais Fête des Crus in Juliénas takes place on 29 and 30 April!

 

Cheers!

 

Bonne dégustation !

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