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LE VIGAN The Reinette apple and sweet onion fair is preparing a resounding comeback

The pyramid of Reinette apples and sweet onions, emblem of the fair. (Photo Corentin Migoule)

Organized as for nearly 30 years on the fourth Sunday of autumn, the Pippin apple and sweet onion fair, 28th of the name, will take place on October 23, in Vigan. Less than a month away from an event that blithely goes beyond the Cévennes valleys, here is the program.

Among the territory’s institutions, the Reinette apple and sweet onion fair figures prominently. Because for 28 years, on the fourth Sunday of October, Le Vigan has been transformed during this major event organized by the municipality, in partnership with the Community of municipalities of Pays Viganais and the Origine Cévennes cooperative.

This year in particular, global warming and its consequences have impacted agricultural professionals in our region and their crops. This is particularly the case for the cultivation of the Cévennes AOP sweet onion which, after a severe episode of drought shortly after transplanting in May, had to deal with irrigation restrictions and a major attack. of leafhoppers, an insect inoculating jaundice in the onion, causing the drying of its foliage and degeneration of its bulb.

For all these reasons, the size of the onion is smaller than in previous years, resulting in a loss of yield. In this context, the 28th Reinette apple and sweet onion fair, an event that goes well beyond the Cévennes borders and enjoys a solid reputation throughout Occitania, is of capital importance for the sector. This prompted the organizers to pull out all the stops to attract visitors.

Thousands of visitors expected

As usual, in the heart of the city, there will be a vast local market which will offer an exclusive sale of pippin potatoes and sweet onions from the Cévennes, but also many local and regional products such as pélardon, chestnut, Camargue bull, olive oil and figs from Vézénobres, among others.

On this occasion, the restaurants of Vigane will offer a “special fair” menu, while the day will be punctuated with entertainment and tastings to enjoy with the family (see below). Master restaurateur emeritus, Gilles Granier succeeds Sébastien Rath (Le Riche, in Alès) as sponsor of the event. He runs the kitchens of L’Auberge cigaloise established in Saint Hippolyte du Fort since 2007. A restaurant he opened with his wife, Valérie Granier, which is a real institution in the southern Cévennes.

The live production of an exclusive recipe based on pippin apples and sweet onions from the Cévennes by the sponsor of the Fair, whose stand will be set up in front of the tourist office, will be one of the flagship events of the demonstration. A stone’s throw away, near the cinema located at the entrance to the main market, the giant pyramid built by the producers of the Origine Cévennes cooperative from these two exceptional dishes will try to steal the show. As a reminder, last year, more than 5,000 meals were served during the 27th edition during which 2 tonnes of apples and 9 tonnes of onions were sold.

Corentin Migoule

And also : On Thursday October 13, 2022, the Nîmes Chamber of Agriculture is organizing events and tastings of local Cévennes products in order to present the 28th edition of the Fair.

The program

Saturday October 22:

  • From 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: gourmet hike of the sweet onion of the Cévennes. Discovery of the heritage and its terroir, gastronomic picnic rich in flavors.
  • From 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.: visit of the gourmet and colorful nurseries of Aulas.
  • 10 a.m.: visit to a honey farm, meeting beekeepers and their hives.
  • 10 am: visit to a sheep farm. Meeting during the farrowing period.
  • 10 a.m.: meeting at the Vigan market. Introduction to wine tasting with a winemaker.
  • 2 p.m.: wild walk on the heights of Vigan.
  • 2 p.m.: walk in a chestnut grove. Meeting with a castanéiculturist followed by a brasucade.
  • 2 p.m.: visit to an artisanal distillery of aromatic and medicinal plants.
  • 2 p.m.: lactofermentation workshop and tasting.
  • 2 p.m.: visit to the Origine Cévennes cooperative.
  • 2 p.m.: cooking workshop with Joël Molostoff in Avèze. Cooking apples sous vide at low temperature.
  • 3 p.m.: visit to a honey farm, meeting beekeepers and their hives.
  • 3 p.m.: cooking workshop with Joël Molostoff in Avèze. Cooking apples sous vide at low temperature.
  • 3 p.m.: lactofermentation workshop and tasting.

Sunday October 23:

  • From 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.: large farmers’ market with more than 100 exhibitors. Food truck Sud de France: events and tastings around the Sud de France brand.
  • From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: musical wanderings with “Cornichon Supplement”
  • From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: wooden games and surprise course for children: games, archery, sack race, hoop throwing, mystery box.
  • From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: steam ride
  • From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: the fantasies of “Madame Loyal”
  • From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: clothing workshop for the children of the Espace pour Tous.
  • From 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: mini farm
  • From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: wandering of the brotherhoods in music with “Y’ D’LA JOIE”
  • 11 a.m.: taste awakening workshop for children
  • 11 a.m.: baletti on the town hall square with “Les Grandes Gigues”
  • 12 p.m.: the tables of the fair under the halls of the market square
  • From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.: musical wanderings with “Cornichon Supplement”
  • From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: musical wanderings with “Y’D’LA JOIE”
  • 2 p.m.: baletti on the town hall square with Les Grandes Gigues
  • 2 p.m.: taste awakening workshop for children
  • 3 p.m.: taste awakening workshop for children
  • 6 p.m.: closing of the 28th Cévennes Apple and Sweet Onion Fair

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