SAINT-AUBIN, France (January 25, 2014) Wine lovers from across France gathered in the pre-dawn darkness Saturday in the tiny Burgundian village of Saint-Aubin to observe a medieval tradition to celebrate St. Vincent, the patron saint of winemakers.
In a ceremony with roots in the Middle Ages, several hundred winemakers from villages across Burgundy, some wearing bright red robes, formed an early morning procession, carrying antique wooden statues of their patron saint through the vineyards in an annual rite known as the St. Vincent Tournante.
Around 40,000 people were expected for the two-day festival, which takes place in a different Burgundian village each year.
After the vineyard procession and a mass, local winemakers threw open their cellar doors for tastings of their chardonnays and pinot noirs.
Organizers say 15,000 bottles of wine will be opened during the weekend.