Behind the scenes of the ‘Escapade des Gourmets’
In the run up to the 19th edition of the «Escapade des Gourmets » (20 May 2018), we met with its organiser Didier CHARAVIN, who is also President of the association ‘Terres de Lumière’. This year the event was a victim of its success with no less than 2500 tickets sold in a day!
A.O.C RASTEAU : Can you tell us about the Escapade des Gourmets 2018? Are there any changes this year?
Didier Charavin : “All the volunteers meet each year after the event for a low-down. It is the chance to share opinions and decide what we can do to make the event even better the following year. For the moment everything is working well, so there is not much to change! There won’t be anything very different for this 19th edition, except that we are changing our caterer to offer more sophisticated and complex dishes. And as usual we have invited a number of guests of honour and are waiting for their confirmation.”
A.O.C RASTEAU : A lot of the participants come every year. What do you think are the keys to the success of this event ?
Didier C. : “According to the participants the organisation is ‘irreproachable’. This is mostly because we are lucky enough to have a very well-adapted circuit, which is quite short (4km) and accessible (in terms of level). We have beautiful views in Rasteau, which is nature’s gift to us. The other strong point is that there is a really friendly atmosphere between the volunteers, winemakers and participants. Everyone is happy to be part of the event, and this enjoyment is very catching. It must also be said that it is great value for money. It is unusual to be able to taste 25 or 26 wines of the Rasteau appellation at that price!”
A.O.C RASTEAU : Where does this motivation come from? Why do you still put so much time and effort into organising this ‘Escapade’?
Didier C. : “The initiative was born of the desire to promote the terroir, wines and heritage of Rasteau… To attract people to this beautiful village and, above all, make them want to come back! The Escapade des Gourmets is a very interesting event because it is a perfect combination of different activities: nature, discovery of the terroir, and the historic and cultural heritage. Since the creation of the association ‘Terres de Lumières’, thanks to the , the network has grown, which has allowed us to open the event to even more participants. The Escapade des Gourmets is one of the rare opportunities for everyone to join forces in a shared project, whether we belong to a group connected to sport, culture, wine, or something else. That too is a big source of motivation! ”
A.O.C RASTEAU : Could you tell us about one of your most memorable moments during an Escapade event?
Didier C. : “There have been quite a few! When the event is running smoothly, and when the weather is kind to us! There have been a couple of years that were a bit wet! When the participants and our guests of honour are keen to come back and do come back, that’s very flattering. Most arrive on the Saturday and leave on the Monday, in other words they don’t just come for the event, they make the most of it to spend a whole weekend in Rasteau!”
A.O.C RASTEAU : A meal is organised after each event to thank the volunteers. Do you have a message for them?
Didier C. : “In fact we organise two meals to thank them each year. The first is in January or February, together with the volunteers of « La Nuit du Vin ». The second is the Sunday evening straight after the Escapade des Gourmets. I can only thank all the volunteers warmly for their dedication and availability! Everyone mucks in right until the last minute, and I am very lucky to be President of an association like Terres de Lumière.”
A.O.C RASTEAU : We have heard that you support charity organizations?
Didier C. : “More or less every two years we donate between €1000 and €2000 of the event takings to charities such as the Institute Paoli Calmette (a centre for cancer research and cancer patient care), the fire brigade of Vaison-la-Romaine, and Mira Europe (a training school for guide dogs to accompany blind and visually impaired children, located in L’Isle sur la Sorgue). We are very pleased to be able to give a little something to these charities. And that is only possible thanks to the increasing number of participants in the event, representing a donation of €1 per person.””
Many thanks to Didier Charavin for all this information, yet again the Escapade des Gourmets was a great success! The weather was kind (at least for those who managed to avoid the shower at the end of the day), and the participants, winemakers, and guests of honour were happy and on great form!
[Instagram photo competition]
Let’s look back at this 19th edition of the Escapade des Gourmets in images via the 3 winning photographs.
Congratulations to our gourmet reporters who each won a 100% Rasteau Terroir prize!
The season continues, come and visit in July and August for our summer events Quand VIN Le Soir (11 & 18 July and 1 August), La Nuit du Vin (14 August). And why not make a date for the20th anniversary of the Escapade des Gourmets in 2019 ?
Stay tuned, we will be keeping you informed… See you soon!