Whether you are a wine lover and you are game to experiencing new flavours; or just planning a trip for September or October and you have run out of ideas, you should consider stopping by one or several wine festivals for a unique experience!
Good wine, merriment and Spain are concepts that go well together, we have all heard of places like Rioja or Jerez de la Frontera. The Iberian Peninsula has been making wine since the Romans, in some areas even before, and so many centuries of tradition have led to wine festivals and celebrations that will turn any trip into a proper Spanish experience. There are many wine harvest festivals with different types of wine, all worth a visit. Here are five examples to pique your interest!
1. San Mateo Festival in Logroño
Every year, around the 21st of September, Logroño hosts this wine festival. This city is the capital of the Rioja region, located in the northern area of the Peninsula. The Rioja Designation of Origin is the oldest in Spain, and if you decide to visit the San Mateo festival, that is the kind of wine you will find. The humble origin of this wine-themed extravaganza dates back to the 12th Century, when it began as a way to give thanks for the harvest.
The city boasts of a wide variety of cultural and fun activities during the event, here are a few examples:
- Firework displays
- Float parade
- Basque pelota tournaments
Of course, it would not be a proper harvest festival without wine tasting events and food stalls for the attendees to try the local cuisine as well as consume gallons of wine. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should consider this Rioja wine festival on your next visit.
2. Sherry Festival in Jerez de la Frontera
We have all heard that Sherry is the English mispronunciation of the word Jerez, but did you know the festival is the oldest in the country? It is a very significant part of their heritage, since they have been making wine since 1,100 BC.
At the end of the harvest period, around the first fortnight of September, the people of this southern Andalusian town celebrate their festival dedicated to Sherry with a wide array of events and activities:
- Medieval market
- Grape treading
- Equestrian shows
- Live theatre and music
- Puppet shows
Just like in Logroño, wine tasting and local cuisine is always available during the event, some would say sampling it all is, in fact, the most important part of the celebration.
3. Requena Wine Festival
For those who prefer the Mediterranean area, they should definitely make some time to visit the wine festival in Requena, Valencia. This town celebrates their grape harvest festival at the beginning of September since 1948, when they added it to the existing Medieval-inspired festivities.
This wine festival from the Utiel-Requena D.O. features bullfighting events, concerts, traditional dances or fireworks, among many others. If you are looking for a merry celebration with good wine and tasty local food, this is the place to go.
4. Grape Harvest Festival in Rueda
The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain… that is where you will find Rueda, in the northern plain of central Spain. The region of Castile and Leon is probably not as well known internationally as other areas, but it is a place rich in culture, history, cuisine, and of course, wine. There are five Designations of Origin crammed into one region, and the most prestigious of them is Rueda.
This rather modern wine festival – it began in the 90s – takes place around the end of September or beginning of October, with activities including artisanal workshops, music shows in the evening or exhibits. Besides tasting wine from the different wineries belonging to that D.O., at the end of the festival the locals prepare a paella for the attendees, a great way to end what can only be described as a unique experience.
5. Grape Harvest Festival in Valdepeñas
Last, but not least, we have the wine festival of Valdepeñas, which takes place the first week of September. The Valdepeñas D.O. is surrounded by the bigger La Mancha D.O., but there is a difference in the products they each offer. In Valdepeñas they make their clarete wine by mixing red and white grapes.
Since 1953 the people of this town have celebrated their wine festival with varied cultural events, such as sports tournaments, concerts, art contests, poetry reading or children’s activities.However, their Limoná contest stands out, which is why you should try this mixture of white wine and lemon juice.
If you are passionate about wine and these harvest festivals sound like great fun, why not embark in a project of your own? At Rimontgó we are specialised in winery real estate and have access to properties in every Designation of Origin: any of them could be yours!