In Spain and all over the world, wine and La Rioja go hand-in-hand. The wines of this region in northern Spain have earned world-wide recognition. The quality of the wine from La Rioja is so good that it has become a hallmark of this region. Each September in the capital of the La Rioja region, Logroño, during the grape harvesting season,the Riojan harvest festival takes place.
Held this year from the 20th-25th September this festival is a true Spanish-style celebration of wine, tradition, heritage and culture. Festivities include music, local sports such as the San Mateo pelota tournament, parades, floats, bull-running, fireworks, food and of course and most importantly lots and lots of wine! The festival is in honour of San Mateo, the patron saint of the city of Logroño.
One of the most spectacular events is the treading of the grapes, this takes place on the 21st, the main day of the festival.During this solemn ceremony grapes from different vineyards are carried by hundreds of children and poured into a large wine barrel. People in traditional dress then tread the freshly harvested grapes in order to get the first grape juice of the season which they then offer to the Virgen de la Valvanera, the Patron of the La Rioja region. Allexciting.com recommend getting there an hour so early for this event as it is very popular and so gets rather busy.
Whilst there why not brush up on your La Riojan wine knowledge by visiting the Vivanco Dynasty Museum of Wine Culture. Here you can learn many interesting facts regarding the La Rioja wines, as well discovering the entire cultivation and creation process. Or how about taking a tour of the vineyards of La Rioja? Both on the official tourism webpage of La Rijoa and at the regional tourism offices, you will find information about the many companies that organise these tours, and that also offer you the possibility to do so on bicycle, on horseback, from a canoe or even in a hot-air balloon for a truly unforgettable experience! You can also find wine tasting courses or take a trip to the La Rioja wine route, there are so many possibilities of exciting and interesting things to do, and all connected to our favourite tipple, wine.
With so much to see, do and drink during these festivities, why not be one of the thousands of wine enthusiasts that come together to drink hundreds of gallons of this wonderful wine amidst the fun and fabulous celebrations?
Have you started planning your trip yet?