Sunday, 30 August 2009

Fête du Patrimoine et Vin Aubigné sur Layon

It never ceases to amaze me how rich in culture and 'patrimoine' the area of the Loire Valley around the River Layon is. On the surface it remains un-commercial, drive through endless Layon villages and you won't see a soul. Until today that is. Today was one of our favourite events of the summer season The 16th FÊTE DU PATRIMOINE À AUBIGNÉ-SUR-LAYON. A day to celebrate art, food, wine, music and today blue blue skies.

The inaugaration ceremony commences at 11:00m with the pouring and serving of the previous years Coteaux du Layon wine from the Fountain of Aubigné. A beautiful copper font designed by Italian Claudio Parmiggiani serves this purpose. In previous years the wine was served by 'wine thief' from a stone trough but these days Jean-Paul prefers a more elegant approach.

Jean-Paul Cochard from Domaine de Mihoudy serving the Coteaux du Layon

Jean-Paul is a member of the 'confréries' so wears the traditional costume of his wine brotherhood. The confréries of Anjou-Saumur-Touraine are responsible for promoting the various Loire appellations and they are part of the Loire’s regional folklore having a role to play in its wine-related events and festivities, adding a colourful touch particularly with their initiation ceremonies.

Jean-Paul in traditional confréries dress red hat, robe and 'taste vin'.

These bacchant brotherhoods all have their own ceremonial costumes and symbols.
The groups are organized hierarchically, and each member has a title or rank, bestowed upon him after the initiation ritual conducted by the Grand Master. In spite of the solemn nature of the ceremonies and costumes, the festive aspect predominates and it certainly does in Aubigné.

The day is really centred around the celebaration of the Coteaux du Layon but here are some of the other great events that go on throughout the day.

Many of the beautiful houses in the village open up their gardens and there is a band in each playing jazz, blues, swing, funk, or classical music. Choose the musical style you prefer and in each garden you will find stalls selling anything from grilled Loire fish, to oysters, duck, grillades or savoury items along with plenty of Anjou Blanc or Rosé.

We choose Jazz & Oysters in the gardens of a beautiful 17c seigneurie.

Followed by a choral group from Corsica in the Chapel of Aubigne.

Sculpture was very much the theme for the art exhibits this year with this superb bronze of Ghandi. The rest of the village is closed off to cars and artists line the streets in every direction.

Ghandi by Martine Vaugel

Watercolourist at work.

Let's not forget we are in a wine growing region so vines are also for sale.

Along with plants....

...and a shot of my new apron. Sorry could'nt resist it!

Although I did rather fancy the black chef's top of the guy doing the cookery demo!

...and the amazing sculptures by Jacque Tempereau!

On reflection it was another superb event. The sun shone even though Jean-Paul is praying from another 30mm of rain before maturation. The music and wine was fab and we hope you will take the opportunity to come and join us again this time next year until then à bientôt......


JoeyJoJo said...

What a joy to stumble upon your blog. We were at Aubigné on the weekend too. Pity we hadn't read your blog then or we could have raised a glass with you. Best wishes Jo & Richard (Just up the road from you)

Janice said...

Nice to see your blog,have a great cheers from my side.enjoy and have fun.