The famous Fête le Vin in France’s wine capital of Bordeaux is widely regarded as the leading European wine event – and it’s making its UK debut in Liverpool.

Now in its eleventh year, the biennial festival regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of wine lovers to the French city’s riverfront, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Now, the acclaimed festival is heading to the UK for the first time and will be staged on Liverpool’s equally famous waterfront. While the Fête le Vin has been previously held in Hong Kong, Quebec, and Brussels, organisers had never considered the UK as a host venue until now. The Bordeaux Wine Festival will take place in Liverpool on the final May bank holiday weekend and will coincide with the spectacular Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta.

Ten years since its game-changing year as European Capital of Culture, Liverpool is marking the milestone with a programme of exciting, inspirational and thought-provoking projects which will shine an international spotlight onto the incredible cultural hub this city has become. Bringing together international artists, performers and homegrown talent which has emerged over the last decade, more than 40 events and festivals will take place in and across the city region, including firsts, one-off spectacles and some returning, crowd-pulling favourites. Liverpool 2018 is focused on the renaissance which has transformed the region over the past decade and looks to position culture and creativity at the heart of all aspects of the city.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “After our team met with the Bordeaux’s head of tourism, it felt like this prestigious wine event would be a perfect fit for Liverpool – there are so many similarities between the two cities, including our stunning waterfronts, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites. When they visited they were of course blown away by everything Liverpool has to offer. It’s a brilliant addition to our Liverpool 2018 programme and I’m sure it will prove to be hugely popular now the tickets are on sale.”

Bordeaux and Liverpool have strong historical connections, which are closely linked to the wine trade. Liverpool-based Bordeaux wine expert Gary Adlen, who runs The Chancery in the city, said: “The North West region has had historic connections with Bordeaux for thousands of years. The Romans founded Bordeaux so when they came over to Chester, they brought the wine to the region with them. The trade eventually moved from Chester to Liverpool as the port developed with barrels of wine were imported from Bordeaux to Liverpool where it was bottled and labelled at the Liverpool docks before being transported to America and the rest of the UK.” 

What makes the wine in Bordeaux so special? The region is renowned for its unique terroir, which refers to the special environmental factors which create the high quality vines. Bordeaux and the surrounding areas produce a large and diverse variety of wines. With a vineyard area of over 112,000 hectares, it is the largest area of wine growing in the whole of France with wine made by more than 6,500 producers, with 54 varieties of wine being produced. The Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta and the Bordeaux Wine Festival forms part of the Liverpool 2018 programme which celebrates ten years since the city’ game-changing year as European Capital of Culture.

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Tickets are now on sale, starting from £18, and are available from www.BWFliverpool.com