Active Wine Holidays

What’s On in December 2016 – Food and Wine Events Around the World

23 Nov, 2016

What’s happening in the vineyard?

Despite what one might think, there is still a lot of work to be done in the vineyard in at this time of the year. During December, wine producers start to cut away a considerable part of the canes which have grown in the past year, in order to increase the number of shoots (a process called pruning). This process has the purpose of allowing the vine to concentrate on ripening the fruit, instead of feeding the whole cane. 

December is also a magical month filled with wonderful events, festivals, mulled wine and Christmas markets. Whether you are at home, away from wine country or have decided to spend time in one of your favourite wine regions, there is just so much to coose from. 

Here is a glimpse of some of the destinations where wine lovers and foodies from all over the world enjoy drinking a cup of mulled wine.


Christmas Wine Tasting with Three Wine Men


3rd – 4th December 2016

Join the Three Wine Men, Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin MW and Olly Smith at a fantastic Christmas wine tasting extravaganza at Church House in Westminster – all fuelled by the very finest bottles of wine. With an unlimited selection of wines to choose from, this event is just so perfect to let your hair down and have some wine time with your loved ones. Also here, there will be plenty of gift ideas and samples of great food which can be added to your Christmas meal. Use this opportunity to do some last minute wine shoppinh and fill your boots – and those of your friends and family with great gifts. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert, enthusiast or just enjoy the occasional slurp; there’s something for all those with a curious palate. Just grab a glass and join the party!  

Photo Credit:



Truffle Market

Lalbenque, Cahors 

Each Tuesday from December to March 2016 

If you are a truffle lover, then you simply cannot miss this! This world renowned market which also hoast the most well known Truffle Festival in the world later in January, is the perfect destination for the foodie in you. These truffles are hunted during winter time, so fresh truffles are there, waiting for you. They come in various size and sell at anything from €300 – €700 per kilo. Black gold!

Truffle market

Photo credit:

Festival of Lights


8th – 10th December 2016

This enchanted festival brings more than 3 million visitors each year. This year, people of Lyon will light up the city by placing candles in their windows. Two of Lyon’s landmark buildings – the Incity tower and the Part-Dieu tower, referred to as ‘Le crayon’ by locals, will be lit up to reflect the spirit of the candles.

Habits de Lumière, literally “dressed in lights”

Epernay, Champagne

9th – 11th December 2016 

Epernay Festival

 Photo credit:

This time of the year all of the Champagne Houses will open their doors and invite you to experience the various wine tastings and cellar visits. But this market has a lot more to offer, such as cooking demonstrations, live music, fireworks, a vintage car parade and plenty of other fun activities. You can participate in a fashion contest, but don’t forget your fancy dress as this year’s theme is “old and vintage”.

Christmas Market 


25th November to 31st December

Strasbourg has been the home of this famous Christmas market since 1570. It is undoubtedly the oldest in France! If you are in search for gifts, choose from little souvenirs and handmade crafts. Santa’s grotto is open and adults and children alike will be queuing for a picture with him and to add last minute gifts on the list. Don’t leave without trying the gourmet delicacies and tasting the local wines.


Sparkling wine for the holidays – a tasting of Franciacorta

New York

18th December 2016

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by spending a Sunday afternoon sipping and learning about the delicious sparkling wines of Franciacorta, the premier sparkling wine of Italy? On December 18 Wine Lovers of NYC, in cooperation with Pierre Loti Wine Bars and May Matta-Aliah of In the Grape will present 6 of the best of these wines. Thirsty yet? Join this tasting that is sure to get you in a celebratory spirit and inspire you to bring something new to the table this holiday season.

Ultimo: Le Grand Voyage

Las Vegas

9th – 11th December 2016

The luxurious Venetian Palace will host this three-day event with great care to fulfil all of the guests’ culinary desires and expectations. The fourth annual Ultimo, the city’s most extravagant food and wine event, will include lavish feasts and exceptional experiences from an international roster of luxury brands, chefs, and wineries, all presented in partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Robb Report. 

Food and Wine Fest

Palm Beach Florida

8th – 11th December 2016

If you enjoy food and drink, you will definitely have to go to this fest. There will be more than 50 culinary talents from all over the world who will give you tips and trick on the art of preparing food and you will have the chance to meet important winemakers who will share their expertise.

Other highlights of the festival include food tasting, cooking competitions and creative food displays to admire. So don’t hesitate to get inspired and try them at home. Throughout the 5 days and nights, elegance and beauty will be highlighted, as this event is one of the most sophisticated and stylish in the region


National Cherry Festival


2nd – 4th December 2016

Cherry Festival

 Credit photo:

The Cherry Capital of Australia is a must if you travel to this wonderful continent, and December is traditionally at the height of the cherry picking season.

This year hosts the 66th edition of this colourful event which every time brings great enthusiasm and joy between locals who have a great sense of pride. You can take part at one of the numerous festivities, such as Cherry Pie eating contest, Cherry Pip Spit, Cherry Festival Street Parade and Markets.


Wine and Food Festival


3rd December 2016

Join the most awaited wine and food event in New Zealand. More than 40 wineries will be exhibiting their wine (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay) and wine personalities will lead instructive seminars, while numerous artisans will present their local products and the most important chefs will give you cooking tips. Putting all their heart and passion in this industry, these wine producers are known for the reliability as some of these wines are made in limited editions and they are reflecting the unique qualities of this territory.

Music won’t miss and if you want to forget about the cold European days, go to New Zealand and celebrate the start of the summer season.


 Autumn in Barbagia; Cortes Apertas

Throughout Sardinia

2nd September – 18th December 2016

Cortes Apertas

Photo credit: Roberto Tangiu

Each year the homes of local people from the most charming Sardinian towns open their backyards to offer an enogastronomic journey to food and wine lovers. An extraordinary opportunity to discover Sardinia’s secrets to local flavours and dishes. Definitely, the best way to discover one of the best undiscovered Italian gastronomy jewels, it will not be hard to find a dish featuring the traditional suckling pig with Cannonau wine sauce…Delicious!

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