La Rioja sets up for the annual wine harvest festival
Logroño in La Rioja is gearing up to celebrate the annual wine harvest festival, which takes place between 20th and 25th September. The festival will see Rioja wine flowing freely into wine glasses across the city, as well as in some exquisite wine-filled fountains.
Visitors to the festival can experience local traditions such as grape pressing, parades, fireworks and plenty of eating and drinking of regional cuisine and, of course, Rioja wine. The festival kicks off with the Treading of the Grapes in which two men wearing traditional dress tread the grapes to get the first juice of the season, before offering it to the Virgen de la Valvanera.
Some of Spain’s most important wines are produced here and visitors can delve deep into the fascinating wine-producing culture with a visit to the Vivanco Dynasty Museum of Wine Culture. Here visitors can learn about the wines of La Rioja and their entire cultivation and creation process. Another way of learning about winemaking is to tour the beautiful La Rioja vineyards. Tours can be taken by bicycle, on horseback, by canoe or even by hot air balloon!
It's not just Logroño that's at it either, with many more festivities happening across the region. 15 September sees the town of Rioja Alavesa kick off festivities with the Fiesta de la Vendimia. This celebration of local produce is hosted by a different town every year and showcases the wine from different bodegas in the region, as well as much music and merriment.