Monday, 27 June 2011
Wine Festival in France
After a hectic few weeks dashing about between France and the UK for work, fruit picking cherries and apricots in France and running the house, we finally had time to participate in the wine festival "Fetes de Saint Noe" in Auvillar this year.
Being the second time we had witnessed the event, we knew what to expect, music, dancing, wine and more wine!
The festivities started on the Saturday morning with a procession of men and boys in traditional costume carrying trees cut from beside the river Garonne and after parading round the village after about an hour the largest tree was erected at one end of the village and all participants were offered wine and sugared brioche. We all then moved on into the centre of the village for a lunch organised by the Marie and the Tourist Office. After further festivities and plenty of drunken dancing, after dark all met outside the church and followed the priest in a candle lit procession to a shrine to bless the vine and the forth comming wine harvest. More dancing to live music til the early hours made it hard to get up to make the sunday morning mass (and we did not actually make it) Late morning children of the village visited every household and gave a small flower as a gift from the commune. After lunch everything kicked off again with another procession with shepherds on stilts, farmers in traditional costume, traditional dancing and an "Umpah" band. Make a note for your diaries next year as it will be in May and is always well attended.