Every November a wine festival, the ‘Salon Vins et Gastronomie’ takes place over four days in Gex, France (a 45-minute drive from Geneva’s center). 2019 was the 25th year of the Wine and Gastronomy Fair, and it was held from the 15th to 18th November. 


Here the local producers bring wine, cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and much more, beautifully displayed in their stalls. You can taste the wines, cheese, olives, chocolates and other produce before you buy them. Most of the vendors are quite happy to chat about their products and specialties, and to answer any questions you may have. It’s amazing how many vendors attend the festival, and many have been coming for years. More than 50 local and organic wine growers, as well as foreign vineyards, put up stalls this past year. You will also end up tasting a lot of cheese and olives, each one as good or better than the last.


The pre-holiday timing of the festival is also perfect, as everyone is busy stocking up on wines, either for their own consumption or for festive gifts. It is so convenient to have many different wines under one roof.   You can choose all the different local wines you want, without having to physically go from one vineyard to another.  Given that Gex is so close to Geneva, you can even go to the festival on multiple days to get more wine, should you feel the need to pick up more of a particular kind. Most stalls have at least one person who can speak English, so even if you don’t speak French, that won’t stop you from shopping.

I liked a couple of sweet wines, some reds and some whites, which I picked up. The cheese was very good, but we didn’t buy much, as we get fabulous cheese in Switzerland. I even ended up buying some pots and pans that were conducive to induction cooking and must admit they are really good.


There is free parking for 500 cars so that’s not an issue. There are a couple of stalls where you can have lunch or a snack if you get hungry. Alternately, you can have lunch at Hotel la Mainaz which is supposed to have a good restaurant. Or you could also visit the cute French city of Divonne-les-Bains, with its charming lake and famous Sunday morning market. Here is one of the rare opportunities to shop on a Sunday!!

Given all these conveniences, this Gex festival is well worth a visit.

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