EVENT 06: Fête des Vendanges et des Châtaignes

REBLOGGED FROM The Riviera Grapevine

What have you got planned for Sunday?

If you happen to be in the area, and fancy a chance to sample some of the unique wines of the Alpes-Maritimes, why not pop into the annual Fête des Vendanges et des Châtaignes in Saint-Paul de Vence?

October 19th marks the 2014 edition of this annual harvest festival for theVins des Baous et des Collines. Translated into normal speak, this term refers to the three vineyards found high in the hills behind the Riviera coastline, near the imposing cliff face above Saint-Jeannet:

  • Domaine Saint Joseph in Tourettes-sur-Loup and Saint-Paul de Vence
  • Le Petit Vigneau/Domaine La Vasta in Saint-Paul de Vence
  • Domaine Les Hautes Collines de la Côtes d’Azur in Saint-Jeannet

The setting is quintessentially southern French, Place de Gaulle in Saint-Paul de Vence.

Fête des Vendanges et des Châtaignes

For one day only, this popular square for playing pétanque is given over to this autumnal celebration of wines, chestnuts and other delicious local specialties (my advice is to queue early for the socca).

Last year, along with my wine partners-in-crime Rod (from the Riviera Wine Academy) and Tom, I enjoyed a glorious October afternoon wandering the dozen or so stands. The three vineyards had a generous selection of their wines on tasting, which were also available to buy.

This year, I’m looking forward to tasting the 2013 vintage, although I’ll be even more excited next year as the grapes I helped harvest at both Domaine Saint Joseph and Le Petit Vigneau this September will have finally made it into the bottle!

If you do plan to go, why not combine the event with an exploration of the medieval alleyways of Saint-Paul de Vence, one of the Côte d’Azur’s most charming villages? You could further spoil yourself by lunch in the village (La Colombe d’Or, I wish!) or browsing original works by Matisse, Léger and Kandinsky (to name a few) at Saint-Paul’s renowned Foundation Maeght,  currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Credit:  Chrissie at The Riviera Grapevine

Rose Festival at a Lovely Historical Villa

On Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday, May 4th the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in St. Jean Cap Ferrat will be hosting a rose festival with seminars and workshops throughout the day from 10h00 to 18h30.

This is its fifth year and in 2013, there were 10,000 visitors.  It is a great time of year to see the roses.  There are various workshop (ateliers), flower stands, and talks about the many flowers and plants.  The French Rose Society will be holding conferences, as well.  The gardeners will be doing guided tours and holding floral arrangement workshops, etc.

See program HERE (click on EN at top right for English)

Come & enjoy – take time to smell the roses!roses




Fête des Roses

garage sign

Held every year in May, this rose celebration is fun, festive, and of course, smells lovely! Enjoy Colle-sur-Loup, to stroll the flower-filled streets and enjoy the sights and sounds of the day (decorated antique car show, street performers, vendor stands, and lunch)!

directional sign
(hover mouse over photos below for caption)

Fête du Travail (Labor Day / May Day)!

Since it was a holiday, I attended a local festival, held annually in a nearby village. The day’s events began with a competition for children from ages 5-12, playing “Boules carré” (square boccia/pétanque balls), instead of the traditional round, with the goal being to get the “boule” closest to the “cochonnet” (smallest one placed as a target).The concours continued at three different areas, as locals acted as officials in measuring distances to declare the points awarded for being the closest. There was a lively atmosphere, with family members coaching and verbally assisting and cheering on the players.

The next event was a “concours de vélos fleuris” (bikes decorated with flowers parade/competition), with children anxiously putting on the final touches/petals on their bikes — one little boy had a “trottinette” (push-type scooter). Some of the children were dressed in folkloric, Provençale costumes to add authenticity to the day! The town’s mayor was present to add local support and encouragement to the day’s events, encouraging the children as they paraded their bikes.

For lunch, there was “Pan bagnat” sandwiches (large roll with tuna, hard-boiled egg, lettuce, and tomato)pan-bagnat, “tarte aux pommes” (apple pie), and of course, a choice of wine, Orangina, and other drinks. Large tables had been placed in the square, with people meeting and chatting in comraderie.

There were dancers in traditional/folkloric costumes doing La Parpaïola, an entertaining and lively band, and a parrot show.

At the end of the day, wine and nibbles were served at one of the (festivally-decorated) village streets, with the band playing, the mayor swaying to the music, and everyone having a festive day!

Photos 2012 © 24/7 in France