SAINT-AUBIN, France – Oenophiles from across France have gathered in this tiny Burgundian village amid pre-dawn darkness to celebrate a medieval tradition to celebrate St. Vincent, the patron saint of winemakers.
In a ceremony with roots in the Middle Ages, several hundred winemakers from villages across Burgundy, some wearing bright red robes, formed an early morning procession carrying antique wooden statues of their patron saint through the vineyards in an annual rite known as the St. Vincent Tournante.
Around 40,000 people are expected for the two-day festival, which takes place in a different Burgundian village each year. Following the vineyard procession and a mass, local winemakers throw open their cellar doors for tastings of their chardonnays and pinot noirs. Organizers say 15,000 bottles of wine will be opened during the weekend.