How to sum up wine and grape festivals? There are so many from April to October that it is impossible to find a common denominator. While some come in the form of a large market where you can taste the new vintage wine, others are smaller scale festivals, hidden in villages or cellars. Still others include parades with floats, music and the wine queen. The only thing they have in common is their joie de vivre and the pleasure of the Luxembourg Moselle's delightful flavours.
Wine festivals are village events usually held in the spring, on the premises of local wineries or outdoors under large marquees. As part of these events, wine growers give a taste of their new vintage. They feature live music and traditional food accompanied by wine (and beer).
Between May and June, each winery can open its cellars on a scheduled day, during which it organises tastings of its vins nouveaux (young wines that are produced quickly and cannot be kept for more than six months as they have no tannins). Even though the top varieties have not reached maturity by this stage, connoisseurs are able to make a few educated forecasts: which wine, by autumn, will have become a Grand Premier Cru!
One of the major events each year is the Wäimoart, a wine market that takes place in Grevenmacher in April. Proufdag, meaning 'tasting day', is held at around the same time. Even though these events are aimed at a more professional public, wine amateurs can also get inspired to stock their private cellars.
Grape festivals are usually held in October, as a thanksgiving for a good grape harvest. A 'wine queen' is usually elected and, to the sound of music, parades in sumptuous clothes through the area, such as in Grevenmacher.
Every year in September, the Drauwen- a Wäifest (grape and wine festival) attracts thousands of partygoers to this town of the Moselle region. The coronation of the wine queen, a music parade and concerts hold sway in Grevenmacher for three days. The highlight is probably the parade in which the queen of wine and Bacchus himself participate, and as part of which wine is given out for free. Music bands from various countries and several dozens of richly decorated floats make this event truly unforgettable.
Machtum, Ehnen, Ahn, Wormeldingen, Stadtbredimus or Schwebsange – the list of villages celebrating the new harvest is extensive.
In Stadtbredimus, the festival takes on the dimension of a proper popular festival, with concerts, food-trucks and tastings – the Picadilly is known beyond the region and is not to be missed. Fans of Riesling, however, patiently long for the Riesling Open. Wine growers open the doors of their cellars wide for everyone's enjoyment.
If you are a wine lover, make sure you have you information before exploring Luxembourg so you do not miss out on these merry moments of discovery.