France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin
The Confrérie exists to promote and protect the wines of Burgundy.

 
   

 

The French love their confréries, which resemble guilds or brotherhoods dedicated to promoting and perpetuating traditions. Most these days seem to be focused on food and drink. The Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin is perhaps the most famous.

Established in 1934, the Confrérie today includes more than 12,000 members from all around the world. In 1945 it purchased the beautiful Clos de Vougeot, in the heart of Burgundy, which serves as its headquarters. Members of the Confrérie take seriously their role of promoting the wines and cuisine of Burgundy, as well as preserving traditional festivals and customs and supporting tourism in the region.

When you visit the Clos de Vougeot, be sure to watch the short video about the Clos and the Confrérie. You'll see the Chevaliers in their colorful red robes and caps, their tastevins around their necks, and some of the traditions they support.

Twice a year the Chevaliers convene a "tastevinage," bringing together a jury of over 250 tasters to pass judgment on the latest Burgundy wines. In 2013 about 540 wines were submitted for judging, and only 184 were deemed "tasteviné," entitled to put the arms of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin on their label.

  St-Vincent, Nuits-St-Georges, France
  Above, Statue of St-Vincent, St-Symphorien Church, Nuits-St-Georges.

The Confrérie also sponsors the annual Saint-Vincent Tournante. Saint-Vincent, the patron saint of wine growers, is very important in Burgundy. Each village has a statue and a banner, and the local saint moves (tourne) from home to home each year. Since 1938, the Confrérie has sponsored a Saint-Vincent Tournante, and each year a different village welcomes all of the wingrowers' brotherhoods. The festivities include a religious service, processions, and induction of new Chevaliers (tapped with a special piece of grape vine).

This is no small event: in 2010 over 40,000 people descended on the small village of Chassagne-Montrachet (population about 500) for the tournante!

Generally held in January, when the vines are dormant, the tournante is a good reminder of the importance of wine to the region.

The motto of the Confrérie, which is posted in the main room of the Clos de Vougeot, is Jamais en Vain, Toujours en Vin. "Never in Vain, Always in Wine." Makes sense to me.


Clos de Vougeot

Beaune

Dijon

Burgundy Wines

Route des Grands Crus

Excursions in Burgundy

Food and Drink in Burgundy

About Burgundy

 

 

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Clos de Vougeot, France

Above, Clos de Vougeot, the home of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.

Below, Collection of Tastevins, symbol of the Confrérie, in the Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune.

 

Tastevins, Beaune, France

   
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