The Confrérie du Guillon (Guillon wine brotherhood), created in 1954, follows the tradition of Plato’s Symposium, or banquet, in that people from all walks of life unite in dialogue around an eternal theme – in this case, vine and wine. This prestigious Swiss Wine brotherhood was one of the founding members of F.I.C.B. in 1964.
Spring and fall, thousands of Confrérie guests gather at Château de Chillon for banquets called « ressats »: the name comes from the harvest meal winegrowers offer their workers. There are 14 such annual Confrérie gatherings- and grand and sumptuous as the occasions are, with cuisine by star chefs and the best Vaud wines, they are equally convivial and offer the Confrérie’s Governor occasion to welcome new members – men and women – into the fold of companions by inviting each one to: “Drink this wine – and be as good as it is!”
In April 2018, 4 « ressats » were held at the Castle of Chillon to announce the arrival of the « bolettes », i.e. the new buds of the vine. F.I.C.B. was represented at the ressat on 27 April by its president, Alan Bryden. The « Gouverneur », Grand Master of the Wine brotherhood, Jean-Claude Vaucher presided over the enthronisations in the courtyard of the castle. He also chaired the banquet which followed, where excellent wines from the Canton of Vaud, gastronomy, philosophical and humorous speeches and musical entertainment in various forms rivalled to compose an unforgettable evening for over 250 participants.
Site of the Confrérie du Guillon: www.guillon.ch/
Site of the l’Office des Vins Vaudois : www.ovv.ch/
Article on F.I.C.B. published by the Revue du Guillon : click here
(the “guillon” is the wooden plug which enables to take a sample of wine from a barrel for testing and tasting purposes. It should be opened and placed back swiftly to avoid a big flow of wine coming out! Candidates for the enthronisation should perform it satisfactorily)
Photos 2,3 et 4: Edouard Curchod, Vevey