Beaune Fete des Vins

We're renovating a cowshed in the French Alps that has a cellar, and I'm investigating the most economical way to fill it up. The supermarket Foire aux vins (in Sept) look a good place to start, but a neighbour has also suggested visiting the Fete des Vins in Beaune in November too. It looks a great place to taste most of what Burgundy has to offer, but has anyone got any experience of actually buying at the event, and are the deals good ? Or is it better to buy from the more local domaine level foire/fetes held earlier in the autumn?
Any pointers about the event or indeed other ideas how to source the best deals on some decent Burgundy in France would be greatly appreciated.
 
First off, the supermarket foire aux vins is only any good for buying medium-high level Bordeaux. You have to do your research ahead of time and get there on the opening day. Their Burgundy offerings are usually shit vintages or shit negociants. The other regions worth checking out are Loire and Alsace. Do not buy any Languedoc-Roussillon wines from supermarkets. Their selection is rubbish.
My advice is not to rush to fill up your cellar but to take your time going to tastings. There are an incredible number of unknown producers in every region making fabulous, reasonably priced wines. A prime example is the Marche de vins at Ampuis in late January. I've bought tons of great Cote Roties for under 40€ a bottle there.
 
Phil,

I'd absolutely second all that Jonathan says, and agree with Jasper and Paul.

Please excuse me but sourcing the 'best deals on some decent Burgundy' makes me recoil somewhat as hardly what happens in Burgundy. Is the phrase 'best deals on some decent Burgundy' an oxymoron - if I interpret the meaning of that word correctly ;) ? I'm unsure, of course, what direct buying experience you may/may not have had but assuming you've not had much direct access to specific domaines (can be tricky & time consuming but can be done here and there - top names no way) and that pursuing such an approach takes time and effort I'd be thinking of two sources - namely 1) the caveau in certain villages; and 2) the large Maisons e.g Jadot, Bouchard et al (both in/around Beaune & smaller ones like Chanson.

In caveau terms those which I'm most familiar with are the one in Morey-St-Denis (supported by a number of local vignerons), the one in Vosne (owned/run by Amelie Berthet's family), and that in Chassagne. There'll be others I'm sure.

I've not been to Jadot (been past it any number of times but know others on here have called!) but Bouchard I've patronised a few times.

Additionally, something else which springs to mind & might be useful is signing up for the Beaune Tourist Office news emails. I get these which sometimes include wine events.

A huge area with no short/easy answer but hope the above is of some use - good luck !

P.S In the immediate term of course comes the 2021 vintage and lack of wines !
 
There are good deals to be had in Burgundy but it's tough and you have to be savvy. Any producer that has had critical acclaim is going to be asking huge amounts or will have sold out. However, I bought some pretty nice wines from the Syndicat-run Maison des Vignerons in Nuits-Saint-Georges and I also found some nice medium priced wines like MSD from a producer who had a shop in the centre of Beaune. Their own wines were crap but they sold other producers. Can't remember what it was called though.
 
Savigny have a good Pavillon des Vignerons which has quite a few local producers at cellar prices, including Bize and Pavelot, but also the likes of Serigny, Chenu etc. Opening hours a little hit and miss as they seem to run both that and the supermarket often toing and froing between them.
 
I also found some nice medium priced wines like MSD from a producer who had a shop in the centre of Beaune. Their own wines were crap but they sold other producers. Can't remember what it was called though.

Aegerter Jon ?

Savigny have a good Pavillon des Vignerons which has quite a few local producers at cellar prices, including Bize and Pavelot, but also the likes of Serigny, Chenu etc. Opening hours a little hit and miss as they seem to run both that and the supermarket often toing and froing between them.

That's interesting Michael, thanks. Must admit I've long neglected exploring in Savigny but as I'll be in Pernand this year, probably quite soon, I'll keep the Pavillon in mind for my post harvest work activities.
 
Thanks very much for the replies everyone. It seems I may have got the wrong end of the stick with regard to what the Beaune Fete des Vins actually is. A little background to explain my incompetence - I had a colleague from Bordeaux many years ago, and I always remember him telling me that the best time to buy and visit Bordeaux was for the celebrations they have typically straight after harvest. Mainly because of the ambiance but also because the wine can be typically be 10% or so cheaper then the rest of the year. I kind of assumed the fete des vins in Beaune was similar to this although its obviously much later in the year. Is anyone aware of this kind of thing happening in Bordeaux ? I suspect (now) he may have been speaking about specific vineyards/chateaus/areas rather than something broader.
WRT the Beaune fete I'm thinking I will still probably give it a go as its seems a really good place to taste as broad a range as possible in one place to then shortlist which ones I want to buy either direct or some other means, hope it's not too busy. I do have some experience of buying Gevrey direct from Domaine Heresztyn a while back but then realised I could have got 8€ a bottle cheaper elsewhere. A mistake I can easily avoid this time with the ubiquity of the various wine apps.
 
First off, the supermarket foire aux vins is only any good for buying medium-high level Bordeaux. You have to do your research ahead of time and get there on the opening day. Their Burgundy offerings are usually shit vintages or shit negociants. The other regions worth checking out are Loire and Alsace. Do not buy any Languedoc-Roussillon wines from supermarkets. Their selection is rubbish.
My advice is not to rush to fill up your cellar but to take your time going to tastings. There are an incredible number of unknown producers in every region making fabulous, reasonably priced wines. A prime example is the Marche de vins at Ampuis in late January. I've bought tons of great Cote Roties for under 40€ a bottle there.
Thanks Jonathan. We had back to Spain at the start of September so the only foire we will catch is the Casino one, but will keep an eye out for the Bordeaux and I'll be there early. Also we drive right past Ampuis too so might se if I can try an impromptu tasting somewhere there too. Thanks again.
 
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Phil,

I'd absolutely second all that Jonathan says, and agree with Jasper and Paul.

Please excuse me but sourcing the 'best deals on some decent Burgundy' makes me recoil somewhat as hardly what happens in Burgundy. Is the phrase 'best deals on some decent Burgundy' an oxymoron - if I interpret the meaning of that word correctly ;) ? I'm unsure, of course, what direct buying experience you may/may not have had but assuming you've not had much direct access to specific domaines (can be tricky & time consuming but can be done here and there - top names no way) and that pursuing such an approach takes time and effort I'd be thinking of two sources - namely 1) the caveau in certain villages; and 2) the large Maisons e.g Jadot, Bouchard et al (both in/around Beaune & smaller ones like Chanson.

In caveau terms those which I'm most familiar with are the one in Morey-St-Denis (supported by a number of local vignerons), the one in Vosne (owned/run by Amelie Berthet's family), and that in Chassagne. There'll be others I'm sure.

I've not been to Jadot (been past it any number of times but know others on here have called!) but Bouchard I've patronised a few times.

Additionally, something else which springs to mind & might be useful is signing up for the Beaune Tourist Office news emails. I get these which sometimes include wine events.

A huge area with no short/easy answer but hope the above is of some use - good luck !

P.S In the immediate term of course comes the 2021 vintage and lack of wines !
Thanks for the pointers Mark(and Jasper and Paul). My current plan is to still do the Fete des Vins with the intention of tasting a broad range as possible in one place (crowds permitting) and so that I can create a shortlist. My last few years have been in Spain, drinking pretty much exclusively Ribera so I need a little refresher in all things Burgundian. I can then plan another visit at to the shortlisted caveau and/or maisons or to purchase via the usual retail channels if direct is not possible. Is there likely to be much price differential between buying at caveau/maison compared to usual retail do you know? Thanks again for your help.
 
Is there likely to be much price differential between buying at caveau/maison compared to usual retail do you know?
If it is widely available retail it will be cheaper retail first offer and much more expensive on secondary market and allocation only direct. And if it is not available widely retail it will be cheaper direct.
 
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