I still remember the 1st edition in 1998 edition in 1998, when I had freshly arrived in the region. At the time, the festival was a great hit with over 100 000 visitors, and today it has attained a record- breaking 500 000 visitors, made up of the locals and tourists from around the world.
The festival that takes place every 2 years is mainly for the general public, preferably those who like wine! By purchasing a Tasting Pass composed of 13 tasting tickets and a wine glass (20 euros), visitors could stroll along the quayside of the Garonne river in the heart of Bordeaux where over 80 appellations from Bordeaux and South West France stretch out with producers pouring their wines and sharing their passion.
The busiest stands this year were the Cotes de Bordeaux and Crémant de Bordeaux. The Wine School of the Bordeaux wine council had an even bigger space this time, to enable to fulfill the expectations of the thousands of people wanting to learn more about Bordeaux wines.
But the festival is not only focused on wine – arts, culture and gastronomy are also on the programme. Los Angeles was the guest of honour for this edition, with a pavilion dedicated to LA and art exhibitions from the city’s artists.
There was a firework display every evening, except for Saturday 28th June, when it had to close earlier due to bad weather…
Bordeaux’s wine festival is a concept that has been exported to several cities in the world including Hong Kong, Quebec and Brussels. Perhaps we may see it heading one day to India, a country that enjoys festivals (albeit mainly religious ones) all year round.
Report by Brinda Bourhis, wine professional and British native based in Bordeaux for 18 years.