Beaujolais Fundraising Events
Under French law, Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released every year at 12:01 am on the third Thursday in November, just weeks after the wine's grapes have been harvested. Beaujolais Nouveau is a French tradition that is celebrated in cities large and small all over the world. Beaujolais Nouveau was at one time Charlotte Sister Cities' main annual fundraising event, and was hosted in collaboration with Limoges, Alliance Française de Charlotte, the French business community in Charlotte, and several French cultural and educational organizations in Charlotte, including the French American Chamber of Commerce and the former Bruns French Immersion School. The former Honorary Consul of France, Millie Cox was also a strong Charlotte Sister Cities supporter and participated in the event each year. She was very active and extremely supportive in Charlotte Sister Cities’ annual efforts to promote Limoges and the Beaujolais Nouveau event, which exposed Charlotteans to French heritage and culture. Limoges would often send a delegate to attend the event and they always provided a beautiful piece of Limoges porcelain to raffle off for participants attending, but the most popular prize of the night was always Air France’s two round trip tickets to France. The celebration consisted of French cheese and other food, French themed raffle items, music, and of course the French Beaujolais wine tastings. Charlotte Sister Cities board of directors and volunteers organized and split all the event responsibilities with the Alliance Française de Charlotte board of directors and volunteers. The two organizations also split the proceeds between both organizations equally to support the annual ongoing activities of both organizations.
Provided by Tracey Trimble, Charlotte Sister Cities
Limoges Testimonial from Suzan Becker
In March of 2018, at the invitation of the French Tourism Office, I spent 3 days in Limoges. The point was to educate US based travel agents about what Limoges has to offer. I found it to be a small enough community to feel completely authentic and very very French. It is outstanding for all things porcelain. It is steeped in the heritage and DNA of Limoges and the people are extremely proud of this huge cultural contribution. Also, it is in the Limousin region, known for its high quality beef. The people are warm and welcoming. The downtown area is completely walkable and charming. A visit to the Bernardaud porcelain factory and outlet store is obligatory! Bernardaud is still privately held and family owned. This is very very significant as many luxury houses are being bought by huge conglomerates. For those who like nightlife, there are several bars/gathering spots open downtown late at night. There is an outstanding covered food market in the center city.
Limoges - Charlotte Relationship Timeline
November 2010 (annually since 1993) - The Beaujolais Wine Tasting Festival is held by the Alliance Francaise and the Charlotte Sister Cities Limoges Committee. The Festival celebrates the first day (world-wide) that the Beaujolais wines are released for tasting by the public. The Charlotte observance of this tradition is one of the many held in the US to honor this event, but only one of sixteen officially recognized by the Beaujolais region of France.
November 15-21, 2010 – A basketball team from Limoges participates in a mini-tournament in Charlotte. A representative from the Limoges Economic Development Office accompanies the team and meets with Charlotte counterparts.
April 3-15, 2010 – Limoges hosts a Youth Basketball Tournament. Two teams from Charlotte attended (a boys team and a girls team) and were the winners of the tournament. Students also partipated in educational and cultural activities. Councilwoman Nancy Carter traveled with the teams and participated in meetings to learn about best practices in sustainability and to explore economic development opportunities with the Technopark outside Limoges.
December 2009 (annually since 2003) – A group from the Charlotte Youth Symphony visits Limoges to perform in an international youth concert with representatives from Limoges’ five other sister cities.
September 2008 – An internationally known French jazz group, headed by Pat Giraud, visits Charlotte to concertize and to hold master classes for music students at three universities and several high schools.
July 8 – 15, 2008 – Two local Charlotte teams (soccer and baseball) represent Charlotte at the First Annual Limoges Sister Cities Youth Sports Tournament.
Spring 2008 – Presentation about Limoges at the Main Library (part of the International Partnerships series)
November 30, 2007 – The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra presents “French Fire”, a night of French music, food, and wine. This event is repeated in winter 2008 and spring 2010.
October 2007 and February 2008- Teams of professionals from Charlotte and Limoges exchange visits to study immigrant communities in each city as part a State Department grant called “Waging Peace in our Communities.”
November 2006 -2008 – Limoges inaugurates an annual Jazz Festival, held in mid-November, and invites a Charlotte group led by Bill Hanna, a nationally known jazz artist and music instructor at Central Piedmont Community College. The Charlotte group is the hit of the 2006 Festival, and they are invited to return in 2007 to perform alongside famous European jazz artists. Charlotte musicians participate in the Festival for three years.
May 1- 5, 2006 – Limoges Mayor Alain Rodet and his wife visit Charlotte.
April 22-23, 2006 and every year thereafter – A soccer team from Limoges visits Charlotte for the Julian Brown Tournament. By April, 2009 there are 338 teams participating in the Tournament, including several international teams.
April 23 - 24, 2005 – The first Julian Brown Memorial Cup is held in honor of Julian Brown, a Charlotte teen who passed away in bus accident while playing in a soccer tournament in France.
March 21, 2005 – Jean-Michael Martin, Chairman of the Limoges Sister Cities Committee, visits Charlotte with a delegation of educators from Limoges.
June 8 – August 8, 2004 – French medical student Vincent Misme interns at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte. December 2002 and yearly thereafter – A group from the Charlotte Youth Symphony visits Limoges to perform in an international youth concert with representatives from Limoges’ five other sister cities. 2002 – A photography exchange between Charlotte and Limoges celebrates their 10th anniversary as sister cities.
December 2001 - Guy Matejka, a professor of environmental studies in Limoges, visits Charlotte.
July 18 – 31, 2001 – Student award winners from Prix du Rectorat High School in Limoges visit Charlotte to study different areas of American society and history.
April 9 – 11, 2001 - Faculty from IUT Limoges visit the UNC Charlotte College of Engineering.
November 9 – 19, 2000 and November 2001- 2007- A Limoges artisan demonstrates the intricate craft of medieval enameling at the
Southern Christmas show in Charlotte. Every November from 2000 to 2007 a French artisan is brought to Charlotte to demonstrate a traditional craft from the region around Limoges. The artisans also do educational outreach while they are in Charlotte, showing their crafts to school children at local elementary, middle and high schools. Other artisans include Muriel Cargagno (enamel items), Maud Kiss (enamel jewelry), Roselyne Decan (hand painted porcelain pieces) and Sandra Bregieras (porcelain and ceramic jewelry).
September 1995 - Jacques Robert-Engman, Director of International Relations in Limoges, visits Charlotte.
January 1994 - The City of Charlotte sponsors an International Conference on Autism in Limoges.
1993 - Present – The Beaujolais Wine Tasting Festival is held by the Alliance Francaise and the Charlotte Sister Cities Limoges Committee. The Festival celebrates the first day (world-wide) that the Beaujolais wines are released for tasting by the public. The Charlotte observance of this tradition is one of the many held in the US to honor this event, but only one of sixteen officially recognized by the Beaujolais region of France.
Between October 1993 and October 1997, there were three official visits by Charlotte delegations to Limoges (two led by Mayor Richard Vinroot). The Charlotte Symphony also visited to perform there.
Summer 1993 – The first exchange between high schools in Limoges and Charlotte is under way. By Spring 1996, Several Charlotte area high schools have exchanges in place with schools in Limoges.
May 1993 and October 1993- A representative from the Limoges business community visit the North Carolina World Trade Association to display a Limoges Booth promoting “Doing Business in France” and Peter Akerblom from the Charlotte Chamber visits Limoges to lay the foundation for future business development.
April 1993 – University of North Carolina in Charlotte Chancellor, Phillipe Dubois, and a group from UNC Charlotte visits Limoges universities while in France.
February 1993 – Honorary Consul of France in North Carolina, Millie Cox, sets up high school exchanges with two schools while in Limoges.
November 5 – 9, 1992 – A delegation from Limoges, including Mayor Alain Rodet, visits Charlotte for the official signing ceremony.
February 1992 – August 1992 Original task force committee unanimously votes to recommend Limoges as Charlotte’s French Sister City. Charlotte City Council and the City of Limoges formally agree to a partnership.
Summer 1991 to Winter 1992 - A task force to find Charlotte a French sister city is formed. Official delegations travel from Limoges to Charlotte and from Charlotte to Limoges. The task force includes Honorary Consul of France in Charlotte, Millie Dalton Cox.