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Saturday 17 January 2015
Saint-Vincent Celebration by the Archiconfraternity of the Winemakers of Champagne at Epernay
Saint Vincent is known as the patron saint of winemakers. He was persecuted by the Roman government and died in January 304 AD. In the centuries that followed his death, he was worshipped in most of the wine-growing regions, including Champagne, and every year his memory is celebrated.
During the 1930’s the “Confréries de la Champagne” (Champagne brotherhood) gathered together at Epernay to form the Archconfraternity of Saint Vincent of the Winemakers of Champagne. It was primarily from the 1990’s that, owing to the energy and work of Brigitte Chandon Moët, co-president alongside Michel Janisson, the legendary festival began to flourish once again and become famous.
The Sparnacians (inhabitants of Epernay) are well aware of the scale and grandeur of the Saint Vincent event.
Saint-Vincent reinstates the Champagne Capital this Saturday 17 January, to the great satisfaction of the co-presidents of the Archconfraternity, Evelyne Roques-Boizel and Maurice Vollereaux: “We are very proud to bear the colours of the Archconfraternity loudly and clearly in the heart of Epernay. We consider it a great honour to celebrate the patron of the king of wines in the capital of Champagne!”
By mobilising its services, the town of Epernay is also promoting the success of this prestigious event. The public should not miss out on this extraordinary parade which starts at 3.00 pm from the House of Mercier: nearly 1,000 participants - 90 Confréries and Champagne houses - decorated in their colours and dressed in their traditional costumes will attend the religious service celebrated by Monsignor Louis, Bishop of Châlons-en-Champagne, at the Church of Notre-Dame d’Epernay at 4.00 pm.
The Archconfraternity’s choir, made up of the massed choristers of the region, will enliven the special mass of Saint Vincent along with the Harmonie des Tonneliers, a brass band composed of cellarmen and coopers.
This will be followed by the traditional Saint Vincent ceremonies at 6.15 pm at the Pierre Gaspard Sports Hall in the Roger Menu Park, to include a speech by Mr Vincent Perrin, CEO of the Interprofessional Committee of Champagne Wines (CIVC), the distribution of medals of the Corporation of Winemakers and the handover of the banner of the Archconfraternity.
More information is also available at www.epernay.fr, the official site of Epernay town and at www.champagne.fr
Patrick Boivin, tel. +33 (0)609 014791 – Claire Ariston, tel. +33 (0)680 859914 - Philippe Wibrotte, tel. +33 (0)682 82 07 02
The Comité Champagne