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THINGS TO DO IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA FROM  HAUTE VUE  VILLA MONTAUROUX

  • Writer's pictureDavid Viney

Avignon’s Millévin wine festival

Updated: Mar 17

Winemakers, merchants, guilds, and lovers of fine wine gather in Avignon (in November) to celebrate the arrival of the new vintage of the Rhône valley; among the oldest winemaking regions in the country. Millévin is a festival of good food and excellent wine.


Millévin Procession © Thomas O'Brien
Millévin Procession © Thomas O'Brien

Over 30 winemakers erect stands in the town squares and offer wine tastings and delicacies hand-picked to complement the wine, including meats, cheese plates, Aligot, and oysters. Some of ​the restaurants will even present you a free glass of Côtes du Rhône with your meal. The celebration continues with a parade of Brotherhoods through the center of Avignon. And all this is accompanied by great music and a friendly atmosphere.


The 2024 Edition of Millévin - Wine Festival in Avignon


Unlike many other Festivals in France, no-one tries to say how many times Millévin has been held or when the first one was. Because no-one knows. Perhaps the ancient Greeks started it. Perhaps it started before that. In modern times, Millévin is held on the third Thursday of every November; timed to celebrate the "primeur wines" (i.e. those sold the same year the grapes are harvested). So mark 21 November 2024 in your diaries!


Vintage poster of the Millévin
Vintage poster of the Millévin

The programme varies little from year to year. Why? Because for an event like this, you need to keep things simple. And not spoil a winning formula. Trust me, if you love wine and good food, you are going to have an absolutely brilliant time!


From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Preview of Côtes du Rhône Primeurs

At Les Halles, the city's food market.

 

From 6 p.m.: Parade of brotherhoods with music

More than 160 colleagues, members of a dozen brotherhoods, will parade from the Town Hall to the Place des Corps Saints. Departure at 6 p.m. from the Town Hall > Rue de la République > Av. Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny > Place des Corps Saints > Rue des 3 Faucons > Place Saint-Didier.

 

► From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Tasting and sale of Côtes du Rhône!

Discovery or rediscovery of Côtes du Rhône or Côtes du Rhône Villages wines with music from Place des Corps Saints to Place Saint-Didier (Tasting/Sale). Access to the tasting: €5 (1 glass + 5 tasting tokens + 1 breathalyzer).

 

► From 8 p.m.: “Côtes du Rhône” dinner in partner restaurants (To be discovered soon…)

A free glass of Côtes du Rhône for a purchased menu


Millévin 2023 Review


The verdict was unanimous across the second-largest French AOC wine-growing area: 2023 had been a success, despite a historically dry winter, a very rainy spring, and an extreme summer heatwave. Whilst the harvest season was shorter than ideal in the north of the region, the vintage is expected to be great for blending: full, dense, balanced and with lovely acidity levels. Accordingly, celebrations this year were joyous:



How to Get there


  • By train: The TGV fast train from Paris takes less than 3 hours to reach Avignon. Timetables can be found on the SNCF website. Note the TGV station is some distance outside the historic centre, so might be best to take a taxi from there to where you are staying.

  • By car: Leave the A7 Autoroute at the South Avignon exit (if coming from Marseille, Nice, Italy) or the North Avignon exit ( in coming from Lyon, Paris) and follow signs for the centre. If you are coming from the west (Nîmes, Montpellier, Spain) leave the A9 Autoroute at the Remoulins exit.

  • By bus: The local bus service is provided by PEM Avignon. You can find their extensive timeables here.

Resources


Accommodation


With stunning views, private pool, super-fast Broadband and modern air-conditioning, the villa Haute Vue is a large Holiday Home Rental in Montauroux; conveniently positioned for exploring both the interior of Provence and the highlights of the French Riviera. Sleeping 10/12 in 5/6 bedrooms, it is close to the beautiful perched villages of the Var and in easy reach of the beaches and sights of the sparkling Côte d'Azur.

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