Winegrowers' Festival in Vevey*

*Inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO

About five times a century, Vevey is transformed into a giant outdoor theatre to celebrate the crafts of grape growing. The particular timing of the festival seems to reflect the life of a grape vine and the length of a human generation. This festival that exceeds all bounds is organised by the Confrérie des Vignerons, a society that dates back to medieval times when vineyard owners joined forces to ensure the quality of the work done on their lands. From 1772 onwards, the society decided to honour the best wine-growers with an award. The first public award ceremony was held in 1797, and was the first grape harvest festival as we know it today. Although the festival continues to honour farming and winemaking traditions, it is no longer the pious procession of old. It has become a secular celebration of human toil and the fertility of nature, drawing on pagan allegories and Judeo-Christian costumes and symbolism (for example, autumn is represented by Bacchus). It also provides depictions of all occupations relation to working with the soil, and features a multitude of creatures like fawns and bacchantes, not to mention high priests and priestesses. Since the 19th century, the festival has been a veritable artistic extravaganza, involving poets, musicians and choreographers, and has held a special place in the hearts of the people of Vaud. For ten years they work on preparing the next festival, and then look back fondly on the one that went before during the next decade. Some 5,000 people took part in the festival back in 1999. The last festival was held from 18 July to 11 August 2019. 

Detailed description


Social practices



Sabine Carruzzo-Frey, Patricia Ferrari-Dupont : Du labeur aux honneurs. Quatre siècles d’histoire de la Confrérie des Vignerons et de ses Fêtes. Vevey, 1998

Sabine Carruzo : Fête des Vignerons. In : Lavaux. Vignoble en terrasses. Ed. Association pour l’inscription de Lavaux au patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco. Lausanne, 2007, p. 82-87

Confrérie des Vignerons (Ed.) : Balade à travers les Fêtes des Vignerons du XVIIIe siècle à nos jours, Vevey, s.d.

Confrérie des Vignerons (Ed.) : Directions concernant les soins à la vigne, la visite des experts de la Confrérie et le concours lié au résultat des visites. Vevey, 2000

Confrérie des Vignerons (Ed.) : Fêtes des Vignerons. Rétrospective du XXe siècle (DVD). Vevey, 2005

Confrérie des Vignerons (Ed.) : Statuts de la Confrérie des Vignerons et de la Fondation de la Confrérie des Vignerons. Vevey, 2009

Marcel Imsand et al. : Fête des Vignerons Vevey 1999. Livre-souvenir officiel. Lausanne, 1999

Pierre Michot : Le ranz des vaches et son écho dans la musique romantique. In : Bulletin de l’Association culturelle pour le voyage en Suisse no. 11. Lausanne, 2008, p. 37-54



Confrérie des Vignerons

République et canton de Vaud
Service des affaires culturelles

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