The Paulée is a traditional festival celebrating the end of the grape harvest, the moment to gather around a good meal with all the grape pickers and the staff of a domain. The name Paulée comes from the word Paule in patois which means “shovel”. This term refers to the last shovel of grapes poured into the press and thus to the end of the harvest (the end of the grape harvest in the domain).
Originally the Paulée was a banquet offered by the owner to the workers at the end of the harvest. A moment of sharing where conviviality is the key word of the evening and where one shares sweet drinks and a good meal.
Clearly, this moment is the perfect archetype of the gastronomic meal of the French: festive meal during which the guests practice together the art of “eating well” and “drinking well” but also the “well being” together. During this meal, the guests celebrate the pleasure of taste, the harmony between the human being and the productions of nature.
Today there are also great Paulées such as the one in Meursault, which distorts the original concept and turns it into a big party, a social banquet where a whole bunch of well-known personalities and winegrowers are invited to join a big party meal. It is no longer a celebration of the winemakers and their workers, but a celebration of the privileged guests. An intense experience of the Burgundian art of living where you can meet nice people and enjoy a festival of taste but… the waiting list is long and the places are expensive…
Anyway, at the end of the evening, in all the Paulées, tongues are loosened, arms are raised and there … resounds the Ban Bourguignon, majestic and grandiose, in the mouths of each guest of the most joyful to the most stilted. This bench is indeed the ode of the Burgundians in love with wine, already drunk with happiness imagining the future wine nuggets starting to ferment in the bellies of the majestic vats.
They have Been There !
Junior Salesman at Domaine et vin
La Paulée is the evening that closes the harvest, or rather the cry of relief once the harvest is in!
The harvest ? A year of hard work and toil. The relentless battle, nights and days for a single goal, to make wine.
So it is just essential to celebrate this as it should be! Everyone is invited, it is a moment of joy, conviviality and relaxation.
Now it’s time for the vinification, the pressure is not yet off.
The harvest is for me a breathing space. It is the occasion to put an end to a whole year of work and to celebrate the harvest. For me, the harvest is the moment when we say to ourselves that it was not so hard and that our backs will recover. The funniest part is to see people dressed “normally”, and that’s when the magic happens.
All year long I enjoy the calm and the poetry of the vineyard. But during the harvest and especially during the “paulée”, it is another poetry that takes shape. That of relief after a few days “all in the same boat”, that of a song proclaimed loud and clear and that of the celebration honoring the vintage of the year. The “paulée” is the unavoidable evening of a harvester.
Many thanks to Adrien, Flavie and Sabrina for their testimonial !!