Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Big Châteauneuf Wine Fest April 3 to 5

The weekend wine festival called Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape, now in its 11th year, is a festive rite of spring here in the South of France; everyone just calls it Printemps. This year it's Friday to Sunday, April 3 to 5. More than 100 domaines and châteaux will be pouring...a great opportunity to meet local producers while tasting their latest releases and a few smashing older vintages. It’s also an easy way to buy the wines you love, some of them normally quite difficult to get. I'm told roughly 300 wines will be featured. Entry to the main tasting salon is normally 10€ per person but if you book online (with the code below) you'll pay just 2€. You're welcome!

Each year the Printemps festival invites special guests from other regions and this time it's a group of Italian winemakers known as the Barolo Boys.

This year, the festival is launching a new eco initiative.  For example: no more plastic water bottles; instead, you’ll fill empty wine bottles with filtered water from a fountain.  Plus, no more paper tickets: it’s online ticketing only (or pay at the door). All wine corks and caps will be recycled and there will be a Facebook group for carpooling (great idea).

As in years past, there will be special tasting workshops (called Master Classes or Les Ateliers Dégustation). These require an additional fee and must be booked in advance. You can see this year's offerings 
here but sign up early as they always sell out.  As of this writing, two were sold out but five were still available. Note some workshops may be in different locations than the festival itself. 

Eighty-two years ago, Châteauneuf was designated as one of the very first AOCs (Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée) in France.  The AOC decree was first created by Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié (aka baron Le Roy), a winemaker at Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Château Fortia). The first year, there were five villages named: Châteauneuf, Monbazillac, Arbois, Cassis and TavelAnd as the European designation AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) is slowly replacing the French AOC for agricultural products, you can expect to see more AOP on wine labels in the months to come.

Les Printemps is organized by by The Young Winemakers Association of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and takes place at the Salle Dufays on the Place de la Renaissance. Hours are 4 pm to 8 pm (Friday), 10 am to 7 pm (Saturday) and 10 am to 6 pm (Sunday). 

Entry to the salon is 10€ per person per day; you can pay at the door.  Or better yet, you can book online using a special code the festival gave me. With this code your entry to the salon is free and you pay just 2€ for your glass. Go to the ticketing page here and plug in the code PROVENCEPOST when asked.

As in years past, there will be free parking and food available on site. Please note there’s no play area for kids this year.

A list of all participating domaines is here. And of course you can follow the festival on Facebook  and Instagram. Hope to see you at Les Printemps!

1 comment:

  1. One of these years I am going to live in Provence and mark every event you share on my calendar! We can go together! Santé!