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The party continues with the Estivales fair

Information updated on 23/11/18

Montpellier’s friendly evenings attract locals and tourists to the heart of downtown during July and August.

Les Estivales 2018, Montpellier ©MMM
The program includes wine tasting featuring Languedoc wines, great food from here and elsewhere, and festive concerts.
 
The ambiance at Montpellier’s 2018 Estivales fair is warm and festive. People flock to the Esplanade plaza in downtown Montpellier during July and August – locals and tourists, families and friends – to taste excellent Languedoc wines, oysters, “aligot” (a traditional fondue-like dish), and to appreciate food from around the world and free concerts. “These evenings are very enjoyable!” says Marie, 50, attending this event with a friend. Marie has appreciated the Estivales gathering for many years, particularly the friendly atmosphere and high-quality products.
 
Shortly after opening at 6:30 PM, the party is in full swing! Everybody heads over to the wine bars, featuring Terrasses du Larzac, Saint-Chinian, Picpoul, Muscat de Mireval, and more. About thirty wine makers present their best creations. Up to 160 AOC (appelation d’origine controlée, or protected designation of origin) producers take turns over the course of the summer. And there is certainly no lack of great food, including specialties from the Lozère region - truffle dishes and “farçous” fritters, plancha and tapas for fine food lovers, plus falafel, taboulé, houmous, and many other delicious treats. Beneath the tall branches of plane trees, guests sit down to share their impromptu dinner and drink. Others meander along the many booths with jewelry, clothing, and handbag designers, and more.

Rock, soul, jazz, and flamenco concerts

Wine lovers are invited to attend free classes and an oenology conference at the nearby Maison des Relations Internationales from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. At the same time, tango, salsa, bachata, and swing dance classes are given at three different locations. The evening’s main event is always the concert given by the steps of the Corum Conference Center starting at 9:00 PM. The eclectic program includes rock, soul, jazz, flamenco... With live action until the event winds down at 11:30 PM. Ethylotests, free parking, and tram tickets are part of the program to help people avoid taking any risks. Event organization has been finely-tuned over the years by the City of Montpellier and the AOC Languedoc trade union. Over 200,000 people attended the Estivales evenings in 2017.
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