Vannes and Saint-Emilion: back to the roots!
During the 2017 Gulf week , the Jurats hailed the memory of the monk Emilion, born in Vannes in the 8th century.
Gulf Week is the largest gathering of old rigs in Europe. During the 2017 edition, the Jurade de Saint-Emilion and the town of Vannes celebrated their common history. The Jurats hailed the memory of the monk Emilion, born in Vannes in the 8th century. A barrel took to the sea from Bordeaux to retrace a wine route that once existed between Saint-Emilion and Brittany.
Emilion, a monk from Vannes
To find a statue of Saint-Emilion in France, one must go to Saint-Emilion. This is normal, that is where the hermit settled in the 8th century. However, there is one in the city of Vannes as well! A space for the famous saint was laid out inside the fortifications.
"We realized that Saint-Emilion was probably born in Vannes. I brought in a historian who told the story of Saint-Emilion. He is a native of the city, he settled initially in Saujon (Charentes), then Saint-Emilion, hence the name of Saint-Emilion. He died there in 767. We are very proud to have it".
Bruno Bodard, director of the Vannes tourism office
In 1990, the Saint-Emilion statue in Vannes was inaugurated in the presence of the sailor Eric Tabarly, the palaeontologist Yves Coppens and the Jurade de Saint-Emilion. On the occasion of the 2017 Gulf Week, a delegation of the Jurade returned to Vannes. The Jurats in their robes passed under the Porte Saint-Vincent, crossed the Place des Lices before entering the Rue des Vierges. Inside the fortifications of Vannes, the mayor of Saint-Emilion Bernard Lauret, exclaimed with all the Jurats: "To Saint-Emilion, always faithful!"
A barrel marked by the Jurade de Saint-Emilion
Back in the port of Vannes, the Jurats were welcomed with great pomp on the Hydrograaf, a former steamship of the Dutch navy. On the deck of the boat stood a barrel from Saint-Emilion. Hit with the seal of the Jurade of Saint-Emilion, the barrel crossed the Bay of Biscay in the hold of the old sailboat, the Arawak, before changing boats at the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan.
"This barrel is a symbol of what used to be. The wines which were worthy of being consumed received the seal of the vinetier, the seal guaranteed the quality".
Jean François Galhaud, President of the Saint-Emilion Wine Council.
With this barrel, the Saint-Emilion winemakers paid tribute to the many maritime exchanges that existed in the past between Brittany and Aquitaine, especially in the Middle Ages when Aquitaine was under English domination.
"Without a past, there is no future. It is extremely important to know who we are and where we come from. Our wealth, to us Bretons, was our exchanges. We do not know how important our exchanges with Aquitaine were".
Bruno Bodard, director of the tourism office of Vannes
So, in 2017, the people of Vannes and Saint-Emillion had the opportunity to celebrate their common history. During the 2017 Gulf Week, the Jurats inducted several personalities, including the mayor of Vannes, David Robo.
"I am very moved, in a way today I am the link between Saint-Emilion who was born in Vannes, the people of Vannes and those from Saint-Emilion. It is a beautiful handover".
The cities of Vannes and Saint-Emilion will again have the opportunity in 2017 to remember the history that links them, this year Saint-Emilion village celebrates the 1250 years of the Dies Natalis (the rise to the sky) of the saint who gave his name to the medieval city.
And in 2019, the Saint-Emilion wines will return for the 10th edition of the Gulf Week. They will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Saint-Emilion vineyards being declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.