On January 22 winemakers (in France at least) celebrate Saint Vincent, their patron saint.
Burgundy since 1938, stages its big event, La Saint Vincent Tournante, on last week-end of January.
In 2012, the theme is Saint Vincent Tournante des Climats de Bourgogne (Dijon-Nuits St Georges-Beaune).
Climats, what does it mean, organizers explain:
"What is a CLIMATE?
1247 climates, 2000 years of history, universal recognition. In Burgundy, when we speak about climates we don't raise our eyes to the sky, we lower them to the ground.
Bernard PIVOT President of the support committee
Did you know? Climates only exist in Burgundy!
It's all about these small plots of vines, carefully delimited, known by the same name for centuries (often since the Middle Ages) and that , see from the sky, make up this astonishing mozaic along the 60km of a narrow range of hills, that go from Dijon to Santenay south of Beaune.
But the climates are not just square metres of vines, however prestigious they may be. The climates are a delicate harmony, an alchemy between a place, nature, men and time."
Don't want to drink and drive, organizers partnered with SNCF to offer a Special Deal to travel using local lines.
"A partnership with the French Railway company SNCF allows you to go from town to town with a 1 day pass for 5 EUROS.
Specail train tariff : if you buy the special pass you can have a reduced price for the Saint Vincent entrance fee, 12 EUR instead of 15. You must show the pass SNCF-TER Bourgogne sold outside the stations."
Worse thing that can happen is you fall asleep and miss your stop.
Lovers of wine art might want to visit the Poster Archive for the event. One of my favorites is the 2008 Edition (above). It reminds me of the work of Arcimboldo. I mentioned the Italian painter in Faces full of Fruits and Vegetables...
(* Poster for 2012 edition by Joyce Delimata, both images from the official Saint Vincent Tournante site, all rights reserved)