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Presentation of the Order

The Hospital Order Curious and Courteous of the Knights of Saint Bacchus was founded in 1947 in Paris by the Count Jean-Paul Mariage Eudes de Saint Pierre, a pleasant epicurean who wanted to join together, in a climate of friendship and knight spirit, people of good company, of any origin and all professions, amateurs of good wine, to carry out a true crusade against " the mechanised wines and the chemists " and to defend " the -vin vray- and the vine growers " under the banner of a Saint martyr, forgotten by the Church, Saint Bacchus.

This Order is not attached to a vineyard or a particular vintage, but it defends all the wines, whatever their origin, provided that they are, natural, healthy and of good quality.

 

The rallying cry of the Order is:

" Par Saint Bacchus, aymons nous ! "


Organisation

The Order is an international association to which are attached Connétablies. It is directed by an International Committee of the Order that is chaired by the Grand Maître and is composed of the Grand Connétables of each nationality and high-ranking dignitaries elected by the general assembly.

The Connétablies or the Grandes Connétablies are managed by a National Grand Council according to the specific laws and payments to each country.

For the Grand Connétablie of France, association law of 1901, the regional establishment is entrusted to the Commanderies.  Also associations according to the law of 1901, which are currently five: Paris-Isle de France, Champagne, Rhône-Alpes-Bourgogne, Hauts de France and  Narbonnaise. These Commanderies can themselves, according to their geographical extent, being divided into Bailliages.

There is also the Grand Connétablie of Belgium and the Grand Connétablie of England. Each one is divided into Commanderies or Grandes Commanderies. In Belgium there are eight of them (Aalst, Antwerpen-Métropolis, Brugge, Liege-Verviers, Leuven, Mouscron, Sint- Niklaas and Waregem) and in England two Commanderies,  (Wessex & Downland and Weald).


Admission

To join the Order, it is only necessary to have an  interest in oeneology and wine, to be sponsored by a member of the Order and to pay the annual membership fee that is fixed each year by the National Grand Council .

The men join the Order with the title of Chevalier (Knight), the Ladies with that of Dame Chanoinesse.

The new members are inducted during one of the "Chapitres", of which two or three are held each year, the Chevaliers being " adoubés " and the Dame Chanoinesses being " proclaimed ". Each new member receives a diploma together with a cross of the Order held by a black ribbon for the Chevaliers and blue for the Dames Chanoinesses.


Obligations for the Knights and Chanoinesses

The Chevaliers and the Dames Chanoinesses declare an oath "to defend the vin vray" and commit themselves moreover to respecting the spirit of the Order summarised in its title: hospitality towards its peers, curiosity towards the things to do with wine and courtesy towards all.

There is a modest annual membership fee whose amount is fixed each year by the National Grand Council.


Pageantry

Chevaliers can wear a black cape with Maltese red cross and a Louis XI hat with black feathers, red cord band and budded with the weapons of the Order .

Dames Chanoinesses can wear the same cape but with Maltese blue cross with the option of a similar hat with a blue cordon.

The wearing of capes is only obligatory for the High-ranking dignitaries and the Dignitaries officiating at a Chapitre. It is optional for the Chevaliers and Dames Chanoinesses.


Events

The Order organises Chapitres in France, Belgium and England each year. In France, a Chapitre Magistral is organised each year, during which new members can be inducted by the Grand Maître or his representative. Other Chapitres can be organised by the Commanderies, . The calendar of the Chapitres is published in the beginning of each Year.

Apart from the Chapitres, the Commanderies organise social functions devoted to the wine and the gastronomy for their members.

Copyright © 2005