The creation of the Dallas Chapter of the Fraternity of Knights of the Tastevin marks another highlight of the Dallas-Dijon twinning. This Fall, Dallas celebrates the 60th anniversary of its Knights of Tastevin chapter. An anniversary to honor with a traditional must have Ban Bourguignon. Get ready to pour some Burgundy wines!
Fraternity of Knights of the Tastevin
The Order of Beverage created the French Fraternity of Knights of the Tastevin or Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, back in 1703. However, it revived in 1934. Since 1945, the Château of Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy hosts the headquarters of the Fraternity.
Set in the heart of Burgundy’s Grand Cru Vineyards route, Clos de Vougeot is also a French Appellation of Controlled Origin (AOC) for red wines produced from Pinot Noir.
Let’s start with a bit of history. The Cistercian monks of Cîteaux Abbey in Burgundy planted the Clos de Vougeot vines back in the 12th century. They owned the vineyards until Napoleon confiscated it and a private family finally took over. Today the domain is split between over 80 owners.
You may wonder about the meaning of “Clos de Vougeot”? “Clos” means that the vineyard is enclosed. Indeed, in 1336, the monks erected the wall around the vineyard. Then the building of the Château inside the walls happened in 1551. “Vougeot” comes from the River “Vouge,” a small stream separating the village Vougeot from Chambolle-Musigny. If you get a chance, travel to Clos de Vougeot for a memorable visit. For more information, click here.
What is the Fraternity of Knights of Tastevin?
Mainly, its mission is to promote regional events such as the festival of the rotating Saint-Vincent, the Tastevinage or the restoration of the Clos de Vougeot Castle. As a side note, Saint Vincent of Saragossa is the patron saint of winemakers.
The Tastevin is the revival of certain Bacchic confraternities of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that had fallen into oblivion. In the 30’s, global recession heavily impacted Burgundy. Two visionaries from Nuits-Saint-Georges, Georges Faiveley, and Camille Rodier resurrected the confraternity with the goal to promote the wines and ensure enduring global fame and sales.
Today, the Wine Fraternity maintains chapters worldwide, called “Sous-Commanderies.” The Dallas Chapter Launch Dinner took place on October 22, 1957, in conjunction with the Neiman Marcus Fortnight. Every year new members are inducted in the utmost respect of the Fraternity’s ritual.
Well, first of all, this is not a song because there are no lyrics. It is a melody that Burgundian and friends sing at the end of a big meal accompanied by great wines and probably salty stories. Second of all, if you want to learn it, it is easy. Try this out: « Lala la lalalalère…» You got it. Thirdly, check the choreography out. Remember it is about wine: approach the hands in the shape of glass at the level of the face and make them turn as if you were examining the elixir in the glass. Here you go! Believe me, here is your real passport to Burgundy. To practice and watch Ban Bourguignon in action, click here.
Ban Bourguignon is the traditional way to thank your host, honor someone or celebrate a specific occasion. It is also a way to welcome a guest to the tradition joyfully. In short, the ban is a “song to drink.” It has become the melody for happiness in Burgundy.
Based on local records, a group of friends, Mettray, Gasq, and Dargentolle invented the ban bourguignon in 1905 in a bar in the Montchapet East district of Dijon. It started as “Ban de Montchapet,” and then became “Ban Bourguignon” as it adoption spread.
Legend has it that the very first dinners held by the Fraternity of Knights of Tastevin boost its success.
Don’t miss out on the celebrations this Fall and buy your tickets for the Dallas Wine Festival organized by the French-American Chamber of Commerce in November. It gives you a few months to be ready for the Ban Bourguignon.