Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spain - Fiesta de La Vendimia

Logroño - La Rioja
Fiesta de La Vendimia (Spain's Wine Festival) - San Mateo (21 September).

Sent by Conchi, a postcrosser from Logroño in Spain.

Apart from the fact that the sun shines in the summer, one of the most undeniable aspects of Spanish life is that, throughout the country, you are guaranteed to find a festival every week of the year. And, given the Spanish affection for their wine, it is of no great surprise to find that many of the festivals scattered around the country come under the denomination of Fiestas de la Vendimia – Festivals of Wine.

Although it is probably the red wines from Rioja, the sherries from Jerez and the more recently internationally discovered wines from Ribera del Duero that are recognised as quality wines, nearly every region of Spain has its own vineyards, some of them producing wines of a surprisingly high calibre.
And for every wine-producing region, there’ll be a series of Fiestas de la Vendimia.

In many of the wine growing areas, as we shall see, the festivals begin around about September 21st, but there are lots of places which celebrate their new vintage at different times.

Around the third week of May, for example, there is a delightful festival dedicated to the local Manzanilla held in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. This lovely town at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river, looking across at the Doñana National Park produces a fino wine, very similar to sherry but unfortified and with a delightful delicate flavour that the locals say obtains its delicacy from the sea breezes working their way through the bodegas. The quality of the sea food here is best enjoyed with a glass of manzanilla whilst listening to local flamenco – it doesn’t get much better.
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