Champagne launches summer festival for wine tourists

Wednesday April 05 2017 by Vitisphere

Champagne was lacking a summer festival”, comments Franck Leroy, the mayor of Epernay and chairman of the Epernay conurbation authorities which embrace the hillsides and plains of Champagne. “Fifteen towns and villages have come together to organise a high quality festival focusing on Champagne. We have great ambitions. The Bordeaux wine festival welcomed 80,000 visitors in its first year, rising to 700,000 now. We are aiming for visitor numbers scaled to our size –reaching around 100,000 to 200,000 in the medium term”.

The festival will include around 200 events or musical performances divided between the iconic venues of the fifteen localities taking part. These include Epernay, Hautvillers, Ay, Vertus, Oger, Avize and Cramant. A workshop for disgorging on the spot will be hosted by a wine grower in Chouilly whilst the Hautvillers co-operative will be organising introductions to riddling. Tasting will be a central theme of the festival and 150 wine growers will open their cellar door facilities.

Obviously, the epicentre of the festival will be the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay which on the Friday evening will come alive to the sound of music and Champagne bars in the courtyards of the big bubbly houses. On Saturday July 1, at 11pm, bonfires will be lit on the twelve hillsides to form a crown of light around Epernay, in a nod to the traditional midsummer bonfires on St John’s day.


 

Source: Vitisphere. Photo: Tourisme en Champagne

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