September 2012: Quebec City and Bordeaux, France, have been twin cities for 50 years, and to mark this half-century of connection and exchange, Bordeaux is celebrating wine in the Quebec capital with a special edition of Bordeaux fête le vin.
To some, it will be just another wine festival. Others will see it as an event to promote Bordeaux wines. Still others will find it an exciting opportunity to make new discoveries. And, as always, there will be the critics.
Nonetheless, this is an outstanding event worthy of our full attention because Bordeaux is more than just a city and a famous wine appellation: it is also the quintessence of culture and a model of civilization.
Every other June, Bordeaux fête le vin celebrates wine on the banks of the Garonne River. Without fail, this festive event attracts hundreds of thousands of people who come to taste the fruit of the regional vine in a lively and friendly atmosphere. Most importantly, they do so moderately and responsibly.
In fact, the mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé – who, by the way, is a great friend of Quebec, having lived here for a year – cares deeply about the concept of moderation, which he promotes very passionately. Moderation is a prime concern of his city, and of the Bordeaux wine festival organizers. Éduc’alcool will therefore have a strong presence in Quebec City for Bordeaux fête le vin and our message will be broadcast very widely.
Bordeaux fête le vin proudly disseminates the message of prevention. Everyone in attendance hears it loud and clear, and the organizers invest heavily to ensure people’s safety. In June, Vin et Société, a sister organization of Éduc’alcool, distributed 30,000 breathalyzers at the wine festival in Bordeaux. In its report on the June 2012 event, Bordeaux fête le vin congratulated the degree of involvement and great vigilance of everyone who participated in that process. The event in Quebec City will certainly be up to that standard, if not beyond.
Bordeaux is not only an emblem of moderation, it also stands as a model of wine culture and civilization. As many people already know, the city has experienced a veritable renaissance under the leadership of its dynamic mayor, and the historic part of this jewel on the Garonne is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, just like Quebec City, for that matter.
Fewer people are familiar with the gigantic worksite that will open in 2017 as Bordeaux’s Centre culturel et touristique du vin. More than a museum, more than a theme park, this will be a living encyclopedia of the civilization of wine, covering history, geography, oenology and the arts. Naturally, there will also be a place for moderation.
So here’s to 50 years of the Bordeaux-Quebec City connection! Let’s raise a glass in the only befitting way – by demonstrating that moderation is always in good taste.