Glastonbury, Love Supreme, V… there are more festivals than hot dinners this summer – or hot days. In Alsace this weekend, the latest, and some would say, best of all festivals began yesterday: la Foire aux Vins.
In a genre of events where quality wines are, at best, a secondary consideration for organisers and revellers alike, Colmar holds its head high.
Now in its 69th year, the festival will be held over 10 days, finishing next Sunday. It aims to bring together amateurs and professionals alike, all in celebration of wine. There are stands where you can taste the best of local wines and swap notes with experts.
With more than 1,500 wines available to sample, what’s not to like?
“In a genre of events where quality wines are, at best, a secondary consideration for organisers and revellers alike, Colmar holds its head high”
I’ve never been tempted by the run-of-the-mill festivals in Britain but this looks very appealing. I found out a lot about wines from Alsace during my recent wine course. I had previously dismissed them as sweet but I am slowly trying more and seeing the error of my ways.
The region has four grapes that it is renowned for: Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Other grapes are grown in the region – such as Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner – but it is these four ‘noble’ grapes that carry the most prestige. The wines they produce are fuller and rounder than some from other parts of Europe or the world.
Sadly, I’ll have to give this festival a miss. I am at a wedding in Essex this weekend. Let’s face it, the best I am likely to be offered there is Cloudy Bay.