What You Need To Know To Experience A Wine Festival!
If you decide to go to any of the popular wine festivals around the world, there are some things you can do to make the most out of the wine festival you are attending. Coming back from the festival with your favorite bottle of wine is always enjoyable, but to get even more benefit, you can follow these tips.
1. Decide beforehand if you will do wine tasting or not.
If you decide to taste the wine, you will need to make sure of at least 2 things: First, bring along a designated driver who will decide to go dry during the festival, or, if you do wine tasting, make sure you spit the wine out in one of the many buckets they have available.
2. Sample the foods at the food booths at the wine festial
One of the great pleasures of having wine is the combination of the food and wine together. Many of the food booths that are on display are great in combination with the wines that are in the tasting tour.
3. Sample some of the wines from each of the different wine regions
Depending upon the size of the festival, the variety of wineries will dictate how many regions are introduced. At the Lafayette Wine Festival in Colorado for example, there were several different regions throughout the state represented.
4. Keep track of your wine tastings on a score card
Most wine festivals will give you a card or sheet of paper to be able to keep track of your wine selections. As you taste the wine, keep track of the wine you tasted and how you liked the flavor. Get ideas from the wineries serving the wine about which foods would go best with the wines you really enjoyed, and write that down.
5. Have fun at the wine festival
Last but not least, as if I had to tell you… Have a lot of fun at the wine festival. Wine festivals are almost always a festive event where most people are having a great time. Experience the energy of people tasting wine, getting a bit tipsy, and just having a great time.
Now….Here Are Some Wine Festivals To Give A Try This Year!
Sun Peaks Food and Wine Festivals in Okanagan Wine Country – All Year Round
For wine lovers and foodies, Sun Peaks in British Columbia is a must, with food and wine festivals, vineyards and restaurants catering to gastronomes from all over the US and Canada. There are festivals and events throughout the year celebrating the wonderful fruits of Okanagan Wine Country in British Columbia.
Fall Wine Festival – October
Followed closely by the Autumn Bounty Festival (see below), the Fall Wine Festival is a chance to celebrate the grape harvest (and perhaps pitch in with some of the work). Vineyard tours, meals in fine Sun Peaks’ restaurants, workshops, art and music: All of the finer elements of Sun Peaks’ cultural life are included in more than 165 events over ten days.
The Autumn Bounty festival – October
Sun Peaks Resort hosts this year´s third annual Autumn Bounty, which offers up the best of the region´s art, wine and food in a three day showcase.
As well as sneak peeks of the new vintages being produced by local boutique wineries, there are also more relaxed events catering to a young professional crowd, with the best in local wines being teamed with tapas prepared by some of the area’s finest chefs. Five-star finger food teamed with five-star wines – a must for unwinding after work.
Winter Wine Festiva (Formerly Icewine Festival) – January
This unique festival blends Sun Peaks spectacular ski fields with the area´s equally notable wine-making traditions. Enjoy the region´s finest blends in the crisp mountain air of a snow-covered Sun Peaks Resort, being hosted, guided and taught by some of Sun Peaks’ best chefs, sommeliers and wine-makers. The Festival has also been expanded to a week long event.
Spring Wine Festival – May
With more than a hundred events, the Spring Wine Festival is a gastronome´s delight. Designed to blend the unique flavors of both wine and food produced in Sun Peaks and surrounds, the festival is a great way to celebrate the beginning of growing season.
Summer Wine Festival – August
For anyone interested in the wine-making process (and in sampling the end product!), the Sun Peaks Summer Wine Festival is a must. As well as leisurely events at local restaurants, enjoying the best food, wine and art the region has to offer, festival-goers can attend seminars and workshops that give a fascinating behind-the-scenes understanding of wine-making, or a crash course in wine appreciation. The Summer Wine Festival also includes activities on the mountain, giving a new appreciation for what is otherwise known as a ski resort. Think wildflowers and sunshine – bliss.
Sun Peaks Wine and Culture Festival – July
Held over three days, the Wine and Culture Festival combines arts, crafts, music and wine in a packed schedule of events and workshops. The main themes of the festival are classical music, art exhibitions and – of course – tastings from the best in regional wines accompanied by tapas. Public participation is strongly encouraged, with chairlift rides begin followed by sumptuous banquet dinners, tours of local restaurants where artists are exhibiting their work and tour guests can dine and drink their way through some of the areas finest, or simply relax to the sounds of the classical quartets, quintets and orchestras playing in the Village Square.
Wine Festival On Middle Rhine
Summer along the Rhine is fun time. For almost five months in the year there is sunshine, and people make the best of the weather. Winter’s drab colours are stowed away. Women and girls come out in bright dresses. Men hang up their overcoats and discard their galoshes. Walking, cycling, boating, rowing – there is tremendous movement of young and old, in their pursuit of the pleasures of summer.
The communities that live along the Rhine have a Mediterranean temperament. They are relaxed, easy and raring for fun, but by no means lazy. The river Rhine the largest European waterway, originates in Switzerland, flows through Germany and crosses into the Netherlands, where its tributaries flow into the North Sea. The part of the river that courses between Koblenz and Cologne is called the Middle Rhine, and stretches for about 126 kilometers. German, French and English writers have captured the beauty of this stretch in songs, poems and stories. On the banks of the Rhine are picture book villages, vineyards clinging to the mountain slopes in neat green lines, brooding broken down castles, ancient Gothic cathedrals, and History itself. Standing on a cliff on the east bank, one looks down on the incomparable panorama of the Siebengebirge (Seven Hills) where many legends were born.
The festival season begins with a Carnival before Lent. This is followed by a Women’s Festival in May, and the crowing of the Fountain Queen. In September, illuminations and fireworks light up the river in a glorious spectacle of the “Rhine in Flames.” The “Bonner Summer” includes dancing in different costumes and dance tournaments. There are Flee Markets and Fairs. The emphasis is on fun and merry making.
In September, the Wine Festival is celebrated with great gusto. It is the last festival before autumn sets in. The vineyards along the Rhine are supposed to be the most northerly in the world. They grow on the steep slopes of the hills, embossed into the flanks in green horizontal lines.
It was the Romans who first brought wine into Germany. There were times in history when people flocked to watch Germans drink themselves under the table. A medieval legend says that a Roman aqueduct was built from Trier to Cologne to transport wine and not drinking water.
Bacharach on the Rhine owes its name to Bacchus the Roman God of wine. An old ditty says, “It’s in Bacharach on the Rhine that you’ll find the best wine…..”
Outside the cathedral at Speyer, stands a stone basin dating to 1490. Every time a new bishop was consecrated, the basin was filled with wine so that the people of Speyer could celebrate.
Having experienced the heady power of wine, Karl Simrock the 19th century poet, admonished his son, “Mark my words son, do not go and live by the Rhine. Life there will be too sweet for you, and boldness will blossom steadily.”
But his son like the Rhenish people was convinced that “he who loves not women, wine and song, remains a fool his whole life long.”
There are four different areas where wine is made – Rheinpfalz, Rheinhessen, Rheingau, and Middle Rhine which is the smallest of the wine producing areas. The grapes are harvested in October for the wine to be ready by summer. Most German wines are white. Red wines form only about 15% of the total production. There are three basic classes of wine – Table wines which are light and wholesome and consumed with meals; Quality wines which have characteristics of a particular area, and have an official number and seal of authenticity; and Quality wines with special distinction, which have made German wines famous. The Rhine and Mossel wines are white and light and usually come in green bottles. Red wines usually from the Ahr Valley are packaged in brown bottles. German wines have always been so famous that even Queen Victoria was fond of it and imported stocks from Hocheim on the Rhine. That’s how wine came to be known as ‘hock’ in England. The winemakers of Hochheim were so pleased with her patronage that they even named their best vineyard as “Queen Victoria Hill” in 1850.
The Niagara Wine Festival- An Annual Highlight For Wine Lovers Across North America
Holidays in Niagara, Ontario most often bring to mind images of serene, breathtaking views of Niagara Falls. However, there’s much more to the area than this as the plethora of year-round activities on offer in the Niagara region proves. As well as a variety of natural wildlife and marine life to see, Niagara also offers visitors thrilling nightlife, an active theatrical scene and a number of historical and sporting attractions.
Among the most popular annual festivals held in Niagara Falls is the Niagara Wine Festival. Held every year in September, the Niagara Wine Festival hosts more than 100 events, including winery tours and wine tastings, as well as concerts, artisan exhibits, wine seminars and the opportunity to sample local Niagara cuisine. What’s more, attendants of the 56th Niagara Wine Festival in September 2007 will be able to witness one of the largest street parades in Canada – The Grande Parade.
One of North America’s most celebrated wine festivals, the Niagara Wine Festival began in 1952 and today hosts two spin-off festivals from the original: the Niagara Icewine Festival, held each January, and the Niagara New Vintage Festival, which occurs annually in June. Moreover, the festival has twice been named Ontario’s Cultural Event of the year and has been hailed as one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bar Association (ABA), so is a permanent fixture on the calendars of wine lovers across the continent.
The main celebrations of the Niagara Wine Festival take place in Montebello Park in St Catharine’s. Here, Niagara Wine Festival attendees can enjoy the finest wines, indulge in the well-known regional food and take delight in the festival’s opportunities for merry-making and revelry that are virtually unparalleled anywhere in Canada in the Fall. If you’re planning to visit the Niagara Wine Festival this year, you’ll be able to keep up to date on the festival’s website, which offers videos and podcasts for download.
Last year, the Niagara Wine Festival attracted over 500, 000 visitors – so booking your hotel in Niagara early is essential if you’re counting on having a comfortable place to stay. In fact, the Grande Parade in itself is expected to attract around 150, 000 visitors this year, so even if you’re only planning to attend this main event, booking ahead is crucial.
Limassol Wine Festival – Free Wine and the Vraka Man
It is almost that time of the year again, the annual wine festival held in Limassol. Limassol (Lemesos) is known as the party city of Cyprus and when you visit the wine festival you will see why! It is also Cyprus’s wine capital and has hosted the annual event every year since 1961. This popular festival is held at the Municipal Gardens which is right on the promenade.
The Wine Festival initially began as a tribute to Cyprus’s wine making tradition. Every year it has gotten bigger and better with more variety of wines, activities, Cypriot food and events. It was originally inspired by the ancient festivals dedicated to the God of Wine, Dionysos and the Goddess of Beauty and Love, Aphrodite. Some featured events are folkloric dances, songs and theatrical performances from local and international artistic groups. There is wine on offer from large and small wineries that can be sampled for free with the minimal entrance fee of 5 Euros.
Along with the entrance fee you will receive a free bottle of wine from the winery of your choice and for just 1 or 2 Euros you can choose a souvenir plastic wine goblet of your choice that will be refilled all night! Lastly, guests have the opportunity to watch or participate in dancing on grapes to tread them which is a popular event as you don’t often see a traditional wine press. It is fun to watch and depending on how much wine you have had it is also fun to do! Another of the the festival’s trademarks is the towering “Vraka Man” that welcomes visitors at the entrance with the phrase “Drink wine to be healthy”. For those who don’t know the “Vraka” is a traditional Cypriot way of dress specifically referring to the pants. The basic costume has the pleated baggy pants or “vraka” which are seen in one way or another on all the Greek Islands. This is also worn with a waistcoat which is called a “yileko” and a jacket or “zibouni”. The vraka is dyed black for older men and blue for younger boys. The shirt is usually cotton for day to day use and a silk shirt is worn on special days. Depending what region you are in will determine the ornate decorations on it.
Since this is a traditional Cypriot festival and hardly anyone wears a “vraka” anymore the statue is a welcome and friendly site and reminder of some of the older Cypriot traditions. This is an event where I would highly suggest taking a bus or taxi to or the free shuttle bus that runs from all cities. You can find more information about transportation that is offered by the Lemesos Municipality on their website. There is also a free public parking area east of the Municipal Garden Theatre (Pafilia ground) and it is free, compliments of the Limassol Municipality however, I would recommend a designated driver!
The festival usually kicks off in August and commence in September. It opens at 7:00 pm and closes at 11:00pm except on Friday and Saturday when it stays open an extra half hour until 11:30pm.
La Festa Des Vernar Wine Festival in Majorca
Many visitors to Majorca (Mallorca) do not realise that the island has more than 60 wine estates producing over 300 different wines. The best time for wine enthusiasts to visit is in September when the grape harvest is well underway and many celebrations take place. Many of the tourist accommodations have their own vineyards.
Binissalem is home to Majorca’s leading vineyards and is the largest wine-producing region on the island. The family-run Macia Batle bodega produces a range of wines and offers tours where visitors can see the whole wine-producing process. The tour also gives visitors the opportunity to sample their award-winning vintage wines. Other well known bodegas in the area are the Jose Luis Ferrer Wine Estate which was awarded for producing the best sweet white wine in Spain and the eco-friendly Celler Tianna Negra which uses solar energy to produce in the region of 100,000 litres of wine every year. Vineyards cover about 400 hectares of the region.
Visit Binissalem from the 14th-26th September when the sleepy town comes alive to celebrate La Festa des Vernar. This annual wine festival celebrates the start of the autumn harvest. Visitors to the festival can enjoy parades, live music events, grape crushing competitions and of course the wine tasting which goes on all day, every day throughout the festival. On the final day of the festival there is a concert which is performed in the main square and in the evening visitors can enjoy a glass or two of wine whilst being entertained by the Binissalem giant puppets accompanied by xeremiers (traditional musical instruments). The festival reaches a climax on the final Saturday when the villages follow a drummer and piper to a field where a massive grape fight takes place!
Binissalem is a quiet residential town just 12 miles inland from the islands capital Palma, ten minutes from the mountains and just half an hour from the golden sandy beaches on either side of the island. Visitors choose to spend their direct holidays to Majorca here in Binissalem as the town can only be described as unexploited, untouched, unspoilt and perfect for a relaxing holiday in a perfect climate. The magnificent Gothic church of Santa Maria of Robines dominates the town square and can be seen for miles around Binissalem. The church is now the site of the local parish museum. Many of the buildings here, many dating back to the 18th and 19th century here, display amazing architecture, stonework and carpentry and have special protection from future development. Binissalem is home to more small palaces than any other town on the island.
If you are interested in visiting the festival and enjoying the superb local wines and festivities there are plenty of late deals to Majorca throughout the internet.
The Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains and the Alfabia range of hills protect the vineyards from northerly winds, creating a micro-climate. Binissalem enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate with dry warm summers and short winters.
The Deliciously Overwhelming Stuttgart Wine Festival
In the heart of a wine growing region in southern Germany is a city that is modern, showy and full of mirth extending its arms to the wine festival with unmistakable enthusiasm every September. Stuttgart being a world famous wine city leaves absolutely no excuse to celebrate the festival in anything other than world class level. For this city always has room for festivities, the celebration turns out to be simply out of this world. Needless to say this festival attracts tourists from all over the world and is consistent with folklore tradition of Swabians. The richly decorated marketplace pours out more than 250 variants of this nectar from about 120 outlets within its span of 12 days.
The viniculture in this region is hundreds of years old. The original purpose of this festival sprang from the need to honour this national drink of the Swabians and do it in style. In 1974, Pro-Stuttart Verkehrsverein, initiated this much enjoyed tradition which since then has been taking place every autumn from the end of August to beginning of September without fail.
It is not just the wine, but the ambience of the city that is all aglow and illuminant that makes this whole experience simply unforgettable and intoxicating. The accompaniments to the wine is just as promising as the rich array of exotic wine combinations and these include sizzling bacon and onion rings and rolls of potato dough.
Norwich Wine Festival
Wine is produced from grapes and other fruits through the process of fermentation. It is made from more than one variety of the common grape vines found in Europe such as the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the Gamay. In most cultures, wine is a very important and celebrated beverage as it goes together with many culinary creations and it complements the taste of food while it is being cooked as well. There are ten top producers of wine in the entire world and Italy has the highest rank of production with over 5,050,000 tons, second is France and then Spain. The months of September through October are usually the point in time of harvesting grapes since it is the beginning of the cool season, hence many wine festivals are also held this time of the year.
The town of Norwich in the City of Norfolk celebrates its annual Wine Festival on September 1 through out October 3 and for the mere price of only £34, one can get the entire festivals access coupons of more than 10 vouchers that can be used to claim wine samples on tasting events. The fair is on its first week running and many wine enthusiasts from all over Europe have flocked to hotels in Norfolk to take part in the once a year toasting. Hotels in Norwich have been readily booked as early as August especially the market town hotel accommodations since it is nearest to all the venues.
With the many different delicious wines from across the continent in the Norwich Wine Festival, traveling at this time of the year is definitely more than just a wine tasting event but a multicultural palate sensation as well.
Wine Festivals in October in Languedoc – Not to Be Missed
In the Languedoc region (south of France), it is now the grape harvest season. Tractors usually drive along vineyard paths, but it is not that rare to see people picking the grapes. It is an old tradition, which still endures today in regions where the machines cannot drive through. Every morning during a few weeks, gatherers pace the vineyard up and down equipped with clippers and buckets. Some are in charge of cutting, others empty the buckets and the tractor driver carries the grapes to the farming cooperative. The beginning of the harvest season depends of course on the wine grape variety but also on the weather conditions. The Muscat for example, is generally gathered before the others, that is to say around mid-August. The grapes destined to produce red wine, like the Syrah are generally harvested from August 20th, as well as the grapes for the Muscat de Frontignan. Then, at the end of August, we usually pick the grapes for the white wine Chardonnay and in September those for the red wine Merlot. The Viognier grapes are harvested around mid-October.
If you are around in the Languedoc region, on October 13 and 14 there is a traditional event. The “Fete des Vendanges”, in the lovely village of Ouveillan, in the Aude (11) is a week end of festivities displaying activities ranging from the flea market to car boot sale, parade, house clearout sales, etc. The event recreates past tradition and skills that still live on. The original fest was to honour and thank God for the blessed harvest. Every year since, people gather and celebrate the end of the harvest season. A great dinner is offered to labourers, who originally sang in sign of triumph.
In the towns of Minervois, Limoux and Fitou, still in the Aude, we also grow and harvest wine grapes to produce the AOC wines of the same names. The Minervois is a red wine, produced from Carignan (40% of the blend), Grenache, Lladoner Pelut, Mourvedre and Syrah grapes. Limoux wine is produced under four AOC designations, which are: Blanquette de Limoux, Blanquette méthode ancestrale, Crémant de Limoux and Limoux. The first three are sparkling wines and they dominate the production around Limoux.
There are lots of small producers in the Languedoc region. You can visit their vineyard and taste their wines. It is definitely convivial and has a Mediterranean atmosphere. The Perpignan wine festival takes place on October 16th, 17th and 18th. There again, you can taste local wines and celebrate with workers and visitors.
“God made the vine; Was it a sin that Man made the wine to drown his trouble in?” Enjoy your holidays at a wine festival this year!
Visit information about festivals section to explore a full list of festivals happening around the world yearly!