In the small, charming village of Viella, France in the Midi-Pyrénées, you can spend your New Year’s Eve with the fun-filled Vendages et Réveillon du Pacherenc de la Saint-Sylvestre by participating in some early morning wine tasting around 10 AM, playing traditional games, visiting an exhibition by local artists, joining the noontime farmers’ dinner, observing demonstrations at the vineyards in the afternoon, attending an evening mass where priests bless the grapes and the locals dress up in costumes depicting the harvest, then having a gourmet meal at night with plenty of dancing afterwards. Finally, you can go on a torchlight procession to the vineyards where hot wine is enjoyed by all and Pacherenc grapes are picked at the stroke of midnight. These grapes are obviously very over-ripe and this over-ripeness produces an exotic, spicy, honey-flavored liqueur. The wine that is made with these grapes will be bottled and labeled with the designation “Harvested on January 1st”.
The grape harvest marks the culmination of the wine grower’s year of hard work. What better way to end the year and begin a new one than to celebrate what you have accomplished!
You can read the official program in French here.