Celebrating Saint Vincent’s day!

Vincent (of Zaragoza) is a famous Saint, a Spanish deacon and martyr from the 4th century. He preached under the Roman Empire at a time when the emperors Diocletian, and then Maximilian, persecuted massively the Christians. In 304, Vincent was sentenced to death and tortured on a wine press chest, which might explain that he became the saint patron of vintners (symbol of the blood having flown on the press instead of wine, with a play of words in French: “vin”=wine+”sang”=blood). But another legend has it that Vincent, having stopped on a Spring day by a vineyard to chat with the vintner, his donkey grazed some vine shoots and the vines thus “pruned” later yielded an excellent harvest. Saint Vincent is celebrated on 22 January, an ideal time between vinification and pruning, when the vine and the vintners are at rest. His relics were worshipped during several centuries and transported all over Europe. They were finally deposited in Paris, at the Sainte Croix-Saint Vincent Abbey, now Saint Germain des Prés.

Many wine brotherhoods organize celebrations around Saint Vincent’s day. Here are some examples in 2015 :

Archiconfrérie des Vignerons de Champagne (Champagne region)
At Epernay 17 January

Chevaliers du Tastevin (Burgundy)
Saint-Vincent tournante at Gillit-les-Citeaux and Vougeot 24 and 25 January

Commanderie du Bontemps (Médoc-Graves-Sauternes-Barsac) (Bordeaux)
At theHalles de Gascogne at Léognan 18 January

Commanderie du Clos Montmartre
At Montmartre (Paris), Fête de la Coquille Place des Abbesses and Saint Vincent at the Eglise Saint Pierre 24-25 January

Confrérie Vigneronne d’Orléans-Cléry (Val de Loire)
Fêtes de la Saint Vincent at La-Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin 16 to 18 January
Registration: c/o Pilar SENECHAL 6, rue Maurice Ravel 453806 La-Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin

Conseil des Echansons de France
25 January at the Paris Wine Museum (Musée du Vin de Paris), whose 30th anniversary will be then celebrated

Les Fins Gousiers d’Anjou (Val-de-Loire)
At Juigné-sur-Loire 24-25 January

Ordre des Chevaliers Bretvins (Pays Nantais)
At La Regrippière 24 et 25 January

Ordre Illustre des Chevaliers de Méduse (Provence)
18 January : Saint Vincent extra muros chapter
25 January: Saint Vincent procession at Saint-Maximin –La-Sainte-Baume

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