500 students, 100 teams, 15 châteaux, 1 weekend, and hundreds of bottles to be won? It's the Wine Rally '4 o'clock! For 27 years now, the AOC association (from the Kedge school in Bordeaux) has been organizing this event, which has become an essential part of the Bordeaux landscape, every year.
In a nutshell, this is a car rally, during which teams of students will have to solve riddles to find their way through the Bordeaux vineyards. Throughout the weekend, and at each stage, they will take part in tastings, games, and meet passionate winemakers. A big festive evening on Saturday night and a giant brunch on Sunday complete this program.
"The rally is all about friends, music, laughter and above all a good dose of enrichment! An incredible experience to get interested in wine. "said Yann, a participant in the 26e edition.
The event starts on Friday evening in Bordeaux in a secret location: it's an opportunity to meet the other participants, enjoy a concert, food trucks and of course to taste the first wines of the weekend.
Saturday is the day on which the rally takes place. In teams and in disguise, they meet in a first castle. During breakfast, they will receive their "roadbook" of the day. It contains all the riddles that will help them find their way and arrive at the castles stages. The participants will thus navigate from castle to castle, from tasting to tasting, from meeting to meeting. But beware of course errors: the aim of the game is to cover as few kilometres as possible! On Saturday evening, after the allocation of tents for the night, a big dinner and then a party where different DJs will come to perform.
Sunday is reserved for the prize-giving ceremony and the giant shared brunch in the castle gardens. Each team leaves with about ten bottles, including the most prestigious ones for the best participants. Prizes are also offered to the best disguises, and to the crews that set the most atmosphere.
No, of course not! There will have to be a "Sam" in each team who will spit up during the tastings. The AOC association carries out systematic alcohol tests at each exit from the châteaux.
For 3 years the event has been ECOFEST labelled. To compensate for the gases emitted during the rally, the association is committed to protecting the environment throughout the weekend: 100% recyclable dishes made of corn starch, strict waste sorting, use of dry toilets, tents provided by the association and reused every year.
The public is mainly made up of French and European students, but many young working people also join the party. More broadly, the event is aimed at all those who wish to discover the Bordeaux vineyards in a young and festive setting, during an "all inclusive" weekend.
While waiting for the 27th edition on April 13th, 14th and 15th you can watch the aftermovie of the 26th edition.
For more information, go to the AOC association's website.