Thursday, March 22, 2018

Big Châteauneuf Wine Fest April 7 & 8


The weekend wine festival called Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape, now in its ninth year, is a festive rite of spring here in the South of France. This year (April 7 and 8), more than 85 domaines and châteaux will be represented...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.

Each year the Printemps festival invites special guests from other regions and this time it's a group of winemakers from 
Germany.

As in years past, there will also be special tasting workshops (called Master Classes or Les Ateliers Dé
gustation). These require an additional fee and need to be booked in advance. You can see this year's offerings to the right on the website here but sign up early as they always sell out quickly. Note some are in different locations that 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 Tavel. And 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 in Châteauneuf. Hours are 10 am to 7 pm (Saturday) and 10 am to 6 pm (Sunday). Entry is 10€ per person per day; you can pay at the door. There will be free parking...indoor and outdoor play areas for the kids...and food available on site.

A list of all participating domaines is here.

For all the details click here and follow the festival on Facebook  and Twitter. If you have questions, you can email: contact@lesprintempsdechateauneufdupape.fr.

For nearby hotels and other lodging options, click here

For general info about the wines of Châteauneuf, the village and the region, click here. Or, reach out to the lovely folks at the Châteauneuf Tourist Office: +33 (0)4 90 83 71 08.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great wine event! It is refreshingly informal--a big room full of fold up tables with winemakers standing behind them, offering tastes of their good stuff. And outside the hall are a bunch of vendors offering scrumptious things for lunch, from all over France. It's definitely one of the highlights of the year!

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