The Gigondas appellation is celebrating its 50th anniversary

The Gigondas appellation is celebrating its 50th anniversary, after its wines secured Côtes du Rhône Cru or growth status in a decree dated January 6, 1971.

There might not be many reasons to rejoice at the moment, but the winegrowers and negociants of Gigondas are determined to celebrate this anniversary in good spirits. They have made it their mission to live up to the origins of the village’s only recognised name which seemingly stems from the Latin Jocunditas, meaning joy. In fact, some people believe that there may well be a connection between the bliss felt by Roman legionnaires and the delicious pours that were already being produced here. There is evidence of vine growing in Gigondas dating back to Antiquity, so the history of Gigondas wines long pre-dates the last fifty years. Appellation status formalised their age-old reputation whilst production rules legalised traditions and rules spanning centuries.

In 2021, industry members and enthusiasts are invited to join in the many festivities dotted throughout the year. Some of them are annual events, whilst others have been specially designed for this exceptional vintage.

The arts have been invited to join the banquet, though it would be a vast understatement to say that these distinguished guests don’t already have their place setting at the Gigondas table. Founded in 1994, the Sculpture Trail will display sculptures by contemporary artists at the top of the village, starting on March 15. From July 13 to August 31, an original photography exhibition will turn the spotlight on Gigondas personalities who have marked the history of the appellation and the village itself. The art of tasting will be at the head of the table and there will be something for everyone – winegrowers, sommeliers, winemakers, journalists, enthusiasts and inquisitive newcomers, young and old. For the general public, Gigondas sur Table (July 19) and the sensory workshop (from July 6 to August 31) have become summer staples.

In Gigondas, showing respect for tradition and fostering new ideas are not mutually exclusive and we certainly have our finger on the pulse of scientific advancements. Blowing out 50 candles provides the opportunity to celebrate progress achieved so far but also – more importantly – to look towards the future, to reflect upon and anticipate the challenges of tomorrow. To help us, we have invited experts with recognised expertise in their field to the village Hospices. Agronomists Lydia and Claude Bourguignon and wine geologist Georges Truc, then Gabriel Lepousez and Europe’s Best Sommelier Franck Thomas will host two conferences open to all on Monday July 12 where they will present their enthralling thoughts, some of them decidedly unconventional.

Using your brain doesn’t mean not having a heart and two charity events will collect funds that will subsequently be donated to associations – a rugby match including former international players will be followed by an auction of Gigondas wines on June 12 and a concert will be held on July 4.

This is just a glimpse of what’s in store in this year-long events programme celebrating our anniversary. To make sure you don’t miss out, visit our website to view the detailed programme of festivities.

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