Vetropack at the Fête des Vignerons in Vevey

A homage to viticulture

In summer 2019, the town of Vevey in Western Switzerland played host to a very special major event – the Fête des Vignerons. Vetropack was both a partner and a sponsor of this festival, which only comes around once every 20 to 25 years. The official wine bottle for the occasion was made at the Swiss plant in St-Prex.

Over a million visitors, shows and concerts being performed on a dozen stages every day – and well into the night – for more than three weeks, special programmes geared towards children and families, parades ranging from small-scale affairs to processions of up to 6,000 people and some 8,000 volunteer performers and helpers involved overall – one can only imagine how much effort the Confrérie des Vignerons de Vevey (the Brotherhood of Winegrowers) put into organising this event.

Intangible cultural heritage

In 2016, the Fête des Vignerons became the first Swiss tradition to be recognised by UNESCO as an example of intangible cultural heritage. The festival, which has been held precisely twelve times since 1797, resonates way beyond the local region. As François Margot, Abbé-Président of the Confrérie des Vignerons, pointed out, for a few weeks Vevey in effect became the “capital” of Switzerland, welcoming ambassadors of winegrowing from every canton in the country.

Of course, transforming an entire town into a festival epicentre for the whole nation for a good 25 days certainly required a considerable amount of time, effort and money. The big show on Vevey’s spacious market square, which had been specially converted into a gigantic 20,000-seater open-air arena, was undoubtedly the main attraction. On 20 of the 25 days of the festival, thousands of performers took to the stage with lavish, colourful and humorous tableaux depicting the cycle of nature and work that takes place on a vineyard over the year. The impressive spectacle was directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, the maestro behind the closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Turin and Sochi.

The actors in their resplendent costumes left a tremendous impression on the spectators, as did the music. The Choeur de la Fête (festival choir), which boasted 500 adult singers, 300 percussionists and 150 young choristers, along with a big band, 36 alphorn players, the Fifres et Tambours group from Basel and a number of other ensembles took turns to provide background music that built up and intensified the atmosphere even further. The entire audience was swept up by the jubilant carnival spirit, which also spread to the various smaller events, parades, concerts and troupe displays providing entertainment across the town.

Official partner of the Fête des Vignerons

Staging the 2019 edition of this event would not have been possible without the active involvement of the Vevey municipal authorities and local residents or the efforts of the various partners and patrons. As an official partner of the festival, Vetropack was one of the main financial sponsors, not to mention the supplier of the official festival wine bottle as part of its non-financial sponsorship. The company also provided wine glasses and water tumblers bearing the Fête des Vignerons logo.

Some half a million wine bottles in a simple and classic “Vaudoise” style were produced at Vetropack’s glassworks in St-Prex and were being sent on to the bottlers from as early as summer 2018. Vetropack’s involvement in the Fête des Vignerons was its biggest sponsorship engagement to date. This one-of-a-kind event only takes place around once in a generation and being a visible part of it was a real pleasure.

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