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Wine Literature of the World

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Wine festivals past and present from around the world are celebrated in this theme. They range from seventeenth century tradition in the Swiss village of Vevey to our own Barossa Vintage Festival, the largest wine festival in the southern hemisphere. Also featured are Wine Australia, the Australian wine industry's showcase event, and Adelaide's Tasting Australia, an international food and wine festival, as well as a selection of local and regional Australian events. 

This theme also brings together some of the wine museums and collections around the world, including the National Wine Centre in Adelaide.

Fêtes des Vignerons de Vevey

The Festival of Vignerons of Vevey has been held in the Swiss town of Vevey irregularly since the mid seventeenth century. It is the world’s most important wine festival, and is a development of the activities of the mediaeval Wine-Growers’ Guild. Vevey is on Lake Geneva between Lausanne and Montreux. Chasselas is the main grape variety grown, producing a dry, robust white wine.

In the past century the Fêtes have taken place in 1905, 1927, 1955, 1977 and 1999. They are now held roughly once in a generation. The 1955 celebration took five years to prepare and involved over 3000 participants. 

Tourists from all over the world flock to Vevey especially to see the pageant. Each Fête generates a number of sought-after publications including a fold-out album, or Leporello, which could be up to seven metres long. The Cellarmaster Collection of Rare Wine Books in the State Library of South Australia contains a number of these works.

Barossa Vintage Festival

The Barossa Vintage Festival is Australia’s largest and longest-running wine festival. It was first held in 1947 as an annual event but is now held biennially. Based on similar festivals in France and Germany, its aim is to give thanks for a successful vintage and to highlight the heritage of the Barossa Valley.

Barossa Valley 3rd Annual Vintage Festival 1949

Barossa Vintage Festival 1999

Other Barossa events include the Barossa Annual Classic Gourmet Weekend, Spring into the Barossa, and the International Barossa Music Festival with events held in a number of wineries.

The McLaren Vale Wine Bushing Festival began in 1973, continuing an old English tradition. When the new wines from Europe became available, bushes were hung on doorways to announce their arrival. As part of the Festival, the winemaker who achieves the highest points for an entry in the McLaren Vale Wine Show is named Bushing King or Queen. He or she and a partner are honoured in style, dressed in colourful Elizabethan robes, at a luncheon, dinner or ball.

Other McLaren Vale events include the Continuous Picnic, such as that in 1992, and the McLaren Vale Sea and Vines Festival.

Apart from the major regional festivals one of the early Adelaide wine events was the Adelaide Food and Wine Frolic held in Bonython Park. 

Tasting Australia, Adelaide’s biennial food and wine festival, was first held in 1997 and incorporates the Australian Food & Wine Writers Festival. It showcases the nation’s food and beverages and invites the world’s food and wine media to take part in a series of seminars. The next event will be in 2001.

Other Adelaide events include the Autumn Food and Wine Affair in North Adelaide, the Rundle Valley East End Food & Music Festival 1997, and the world–renowned, biennial Adelaide Festival of Arts.

In 1996, to coincide with the Adelaide Festival of Arts, the Migration Museum held a wine and food event called "A foreign a’fare". This poster shows the European and Asian influences.

Wine Australia is Australia's largest wine industry event, held every two years. Melbourne 2000 sees the third of these events, the first being held in Sydney in 1996 and the second in Melbourne in 1998. It aims to "promote the sale of premium wines to Australian consumers and trade, prominent international trade and media."

Australian regional festivals include:

A selection of other overseas festivals

In the Burgundy district of France the famed Hospices de Beaune auction and festival takes place annually in November. The charity auction dates back to 1859. 

2001 will see the sixteenth annual Wine Marlborough Festival in New Zealand. It is held at Brancott Estate, Blenheim’s oldest vineyard and takes in more than 40 wineries.

The Monterey Wine Festival in California began 1976 as a promotion for Californian wine. Today it includes more than 120 California wineries. As well as the usual activities of wine releases, tastings and dining, there is a "large bottle auction" and a major educational forum for the wine industry.

Museums and collections

As the interest in wine increases a number of wine museums and displays are appearing. This is a selection.

In Adelaide, South Australia, the National Wine Centre showcases Australian wines, winemakers and wine regions and to provide interpretive, educational and entertainment facilities. It includes a virtual tour of the Australian wine industry.

Paris has the Musée du Vin, which is housed in the old cellars of the fourteenth century Abbey of Passy. The museum presents the history of wine in France and the main wine-producing areas.

In Beaucaire in France, the Caves et Vins Gallo-Romains have the world's first reconstruction of a Gallo-Roman wine cellar.

London has Vinopolis, the recently opened centre devoted the world of wine.

In South Africa, the Stellenryck Wijn Museum at Stellenbosch, Cape Town, displays the history of wine making through the ages, with a fine collection of utensils dating back to the eighth century B.C.

The Napa Valley Museum has a permanent exhibition on Californian wine.

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