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Fete des Vignerons 2019

Fete des Vignerons 2019

July 18th – August 11, 2019

Looking for something to do in the next 13 days?  This may be the only chance of your lifetime!

Vevey, Switzerland

Don’t miss the show!

Only happens 4-5 times per century since 1797.  2019 marks its 12th production.

Organized by the Confrerie des Vignerons, the festival celebrates the role of the grape grower.  It is a UNESCO event and includes a coronation ceremony of the best vineyard workers.

Tips about the festival:

  1. Buy tickets in advance online.  The opening night was a great night to go.  Energy was high and coronation was held during this event.
  2. Get to one of the information booths each day to get that day’s Gazette which outlines the schedules and locations of the day.  They usually have an English speaking assistant there who can give you other tips and answer questions.
  3. Take the map and list the times of each performance on that location.  It will make moving through the festival following shows faster.
  4. Find the T.V. and Radio tents to see the interviews.  These also air on TV.
  5. Take a straw hat or buy one.  When it is hot, there is very little A/C.  Dress cool.
  6. There are Caveaus featured throughout the festival grounds and around town.   Some are thematic.  The Caveau Cent Suisse’s is where the actors dressed as Swiss Guards hang out.  At the Vigneron Caveau the growers  paused for some wine and photo ops.
  7. One mile of food tents representing many countries in the world banked the lake sidewalks.  Each offered seating with a gorgeous view throughout the day and night.  Periodic stages throughout the festival featured different musical acts.
  8. Each day celebrates a different Canton of Switzerland which hosts parades and musical events from that region.
  9. The program details the life of the vigneron and the activities of the vineyard each season.  The creator of this program, Daniele Finzi Pasca, was the same as the creator of the closing ceremony at the winter Olympics.  Fete des Vignerons is the same magnitude.  Costuming is by an Italian designer, Giovanna Vuzzi.

10  You will see technologically sophisticated staging,  dramatic and imaginative presentations, and great talent.

  1. Other activities available for the traveler include:

Folklore markets on Saturday;

Flea markets in the surrounding towns each day;

Chaplin’s World – amazing presentation and surprising history;

Castle Chillon – 13th centure

Maison Callier Chocolate Factory;

Food Museum;

Vigneron Museum;

Funicular to the top of Mont Pellin travelling through 3 layers of vineyard trellising.

Vinorama featuring more than 100 wine by the taste from the Lavaux region

Castle Gruyere

Museum HR Giger and bar

 

  1. Each hotel gives you a free pass for all local transit during your stay that includes discounts at featured attractions.  You can take the opportunity to ride all of the buses to view different areas of the villages.  Never underestimate what you might discover on a bus route.  We took bus 207 to the Blonay Gare and on the way saw some of the most beautiful vineyard scenery over the lake.
  2. There is a Casino for those who like to gamble, and you can get a pass for the public pool through them.  It is a large pool and a nice diversion on a hot summer day.  There are also poolside bar for beverages, changing rooms, shower and toilets.  It cost 10 Francs.
  3. Restaurants to try:

Geneva – La Pointiere behind the Flower Clock on Lake Geneva

Restaurant Les Armures

Lausanne – Auberge du Soliel – chef owned, Jean Michel Colin

La Mathoulaz by Christine and Cindy Rossier (Beautiful mountain top view & very local food)

If you like bucket list travel, Fete des Vignerons is a must for your list.  The 2019 edition goes through August 11, 2019.  If you miss it, mark your calendar for ~2039-2043.

Happy Travel!

Merrill Bonarrigo
Co-founder & MOM
Messina Hof Wine Cellars, Inc.

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