A new event is always a tricky endeavor. Take it from someone who has been involved in hundreds of events and thousands of event days through the years. But wine events, like a vintage is always full of unknowns. Will winemakers support the event? Will the trade buyers show up? Will the media care? How do you promote the event? Those are just some of the challenges that new event organizers will face. So do those repeat event organizers who have the beneft of reaching out to past attendees and a track record for what the event will be like.
This April, surrounding the every other year Decouvertes du Vallee du Rhone, put on by Rhone Valley Wines the week of April
15th in Ampuis, Mauves, Crozes-Hermitage and Avignon, there's some very inviting events that are both new and worth knowing about.
Let's start with the Grenache Association's Grenache Night on Tuesday April 16th. It's scheduled the night before the two day Avignon days of Decouvertes du Vallee du Rhone (DVR). While most of the other "offs" surrounding DVR are Rhone only producers, the G Night event often brings producers who are big into Grenache from other regions from around the world.
A new event being held the next night, Ventoux Rising,features a group of winemakers from the region surrounding and on the hillsides of Mount Ventoux. The Ventoux is the next big thing from the Rhone Valley. Much like Lirac, Beaumes de Venise or Cairanne which have all received their boost after staking a claim at DVR in the past, the Ventoux has reached a point where the wines are as sophisicated as many Chateauneuf du Papes, and in some cases, just as sought after. Just check out producers like Chene Bleu, whose super Rhones are in high demand at top shops and restaurants, Domaine Vintur and their Le Gentleman or Clos de Trias Vieilles Vignes and Pied Porcher, or Fondreche's Persia and Divergent These are wines that are on par with the top southern Rhones, but at fractions of the price vs. comparable Gigondas, CdP's or Vacqueyras.
For twenty years the small Languedoc village of Montpeyroux hosts Toutes Caves Ouvertes Montpeyroux. This year the event will be held on Sunday April 21st starting at 10 AM . The center of town is ransformed into a wine carnival, as all the streets become wine storefronts for the 25 or so wineries opening their caves to the public. Tastings, food, music and more are there for all day event. The event is as much for the trade as it is for the locals as the town pours out, and in typical French fashion, has a flair and flavor of where everyone is your new best friend.
But the Rhone and Languedoc aren't the only places for knock out wine events in April. Way down south, in Perpignan, a new event that brings producers from the Occitane (Roussillion) and Northern Catelonia in Spain
is happening. INDIGENES. the Northern Catelonia wine fest makes its debut in Perpignan on the Sunday April 28th and Monday the 29th at the Church of the Domenicans.