Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia: The Grape Harvest Festival in Mendoza Argentina

Español: Ubicación de la Provincia de Mendoza ...
Image via Wikipedia

The Grape Harvest Festival in most countries occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. Given the differences in climate and crops around the world, harvest festivals can be found at various times throughout the world.

In Mendoza, the capital city, they have a national harvest festival in early March called The Grape Harvest Festival;  Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia.” There’s plenty of food,  wine and tango!

The tradition started in 1936, and attendance has been growing exponentially since the onset of the festival. It starts with a blessing of the grapes that leads to parades and performances. It is one of the most important festivals in the country and attracts a large number of tourists to the region.

Uva,  Grape
Uva, Grape (Photo credit: pizzodisevo (therapy – terapia – Therapie))

Mendoza is a province in the Cuyo region of Argentina. The Grape harvest Festival is a  world renowned celebration of wine and winemaking. Each of the 18 departments in Mendoza Province prepare for the festival in the early months of the year.The Grape Harvest Festival is an extravaganza held in Mendoza city. It integrates customs, rites of passage and rituals into a multi-day festival. The main events occurs in the first week of March in Mendoza city featuring hundreds of dancers and performers. The festivities culminate in the selection of a “Reina Nacional de la Vendimia” (National Vendimia Queen) and a large firework display.

General San Martín Park
Image via Wikipedia

The first vendimia celebrations in the Mendoza Province occurred in the 17th century in the wineries. The first official Vendimia festival took place in 1936. The tradition started and was later supported by various areas in the government and prestigious institutions in the province. Today this celebration is a National Festival. The origins of the Grape Harvest Festival date back to 1936 when Frank Romero Day was serving as the Minister of Industry and Public Works. The celebrations began at the gates of General San Martín Park and involved Dr. Miguel Ángel Cárcano the Minister of Agriculture.

Here’s a video of the amazing event:

http://www.welcomeargentina.com/fiesta-vendimia/index_i.html

Traditional dancers and musicians from Mendoza provide a spectacular large-scale sound and light show in the Frank Romero Day Amphitheatre on the final three evenings. At the end of the festival, around 700 performers frolick beneath rainbow-coloured lights. The show pays homenage to the “Virgen de la Carrodilla” and features traditional folklore and music. The finale event entails the selection of the “Reina Nacional de la Vendimia” and then there is a large firework display.

Vignoble à Mendoza
Image via Wikipedia

There are a number of important traditional events that lead to this culminating spectacle in Mendoza. The Festival begins with the humble blessing of the grapes (the Benediction of the fruit) that takes place on the last Sunday of February. In Mendoza, the peasants thank their saints for the good harvest. The ceremony of the offering and blessing of the fruit was a biblical tradition that began with Moses.  Thanks are given to God for the harvest and the new wine is offered while evoking the Carrodilla Virgin, patron saint of the vineyards. The Virgin ritual was brought to Argentina from Aragon, Spain by Antonio Solanilla. It is believed that her presence guarantees a good harvest. The new fruit is blessed before being processed and put in casks.

English: Alive and Well in Argentina
Image via Wikipedia

At the Carrusel parade, parading Argentine gauchos in typical dress ride their horses up and down the streets with a trail of old wooden ox carts. These carts were one of the first vehicles used in Mendoza over 120 years ago.

Gauchos with horses
Image via Wikipedia

On the evening of the first Friday of March,  Vía Blanca de las Reinas involves a parade of the prettiest women (Reinas) from each district. The election of the district queens begins much earlier in the individual provinces. The Reinas ride alegoric chariots through the streets of Mendoza. They are dressed in decorative outfits designed to celebrate the winemaking tradition and the character of their districts. This event has been known to attract over 200,000 spectators.

The Carrusel Vendimial takes place on Saturday morning. This daylight parade, involves the Reinas riding their chariots through the streets, accompanied by formations of Gauchos riding horses. They are followed by dancers representing various provinces of Argentina and other Latin American Countries. This parade also attracts huge numbers of spectators. When the sun sets and it starts to get dark, one of the most important traditions in the Grape Harvest Festival begins; “the Queens White Way.”housands of people from all of the districts in the Province of Mendoza anxiously await the appearance of their district’s queens and princesses. There is one carriage per district. The Main Event takes place in the “Frank Romero Day Greek Theater” when the Grape Harvest Queen is selected.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

A vineyard just outside mendoza with the Andes...
Image via Wikipedia

Related articles

Mendoza Wine (winebookclub.org)

Vendimia under the stars… What not to miss! (vinesofmendoza.com)

Trapiche Pinot Noir 2011 Mendoza Argentina (vignauvavino.blogspot.com)

Enhanced by Zemanta

20th Annual Paso Robles Zinfandel Wine Festival 2012 in California

English: Part of the Justin Winery vineyard in...
Image via Wikipedia

Make plans to attend the Paso Robles Zinfandel Wine Festival 2012 where Paso Robles Wine Country in California celebrates the historical significance its Zinfandel tradition. You will have an opportunity to enjoy the complex flavors, bright fruit and intense color of Zinfandel wines by exploring the wineries and vineyards of Paso Robles. More than 150 wineries will be hosting an array of events including Zinfandel barrel tastings, winemaker dinners, vineyard tours, barbecues and live music. There will be cuisine from more than ten of the region’s best restaurants and special winemaker dinners.

English: Pioneer Day Parade in Paso Robles, CA
Image via Wikipedia

Call 800-549-WINE or visit www.pasowine.com to purchase tickets and to get more information about the events.

Paso Robles is located in central coastal area along the Salinas River north of San Luis Obispo, California. The city is known for its thermal hot springs and wineries.

Zinfandel is a variety of red grape that is genetically equivalent to the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in Puglia in southern Italy. Wine grapes were brought to Paso Robles soil in the late 1700s by the Spanish conquistadors and Franciscan missionaries.

WHEN: March 16 – 18, 2012

WHERE: Paso Robles Event Center and local wineries2198 Riverside Avenue in Paso Robles, California

Pasorobles1
Image via Wikipedia

On Saturday, March 17, 2012 at the Paso Robles Event Center there will be a Zin Tasting & Wine Country Auction with complimentary gourmet bites. This will be an outstanding Vino con Vista Weekend!

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides at www.vino-con-vista.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

Top Seafood and Wine Festivals

Here’s a list of the top Seafood and Wine Festivals

D. T. Fleming Beach Park, Kapalua, Maui, Hawai...
Image via Wikipedia

Kapalua Wine & Food Festival in  Maui, Hawaii is held in June. This festival started in 1981 and has grown to become one of Maui’s most popular. It is held at the  Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and, attracts chefs, winemakers, critics and foodies. www.kapalua.com

 

 

 

Clayoquot Oyster Festival in British Columbia is held in November.

Vancouver Island is separated from mainland Br...
Image via Wikipedia

The  Shellfish farms on Vancouver Island‘s west coast harvest roughly 50,000 gallons of oysters a year. In “Oysterember” local chefs and wineries from British Columbia have an annual celebration. oystergala.com

 

English: Mendocino, California … on a rare sun...
Image via Wikipedia
English: Aerial view of the mouth of the Noyo ...
Image via Wikipedia

Crab & Wine Days in  Mendocino, California is held in January.

This celebration kicks off Taste Mendocino, a three-weekend festival showcasing locally caught Dungeness crab and locally produced wines. Check out the annual crab cake cook-off and wine tasting at Fort Bragg‘s Noyo Harbor. gomendo.com

Cooked Dungeness crab
Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portland, Maine
Image via Wikipedia

Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, Maine is held in October.

Lighthouse, Portland, Maine
Image via Wikipedia

Portland is the perfect spot for a weekend filled with top chefs and international wines. Attend the Grand Tasting accompanied by a 7-piece bluegrass band! harvestontheharbor.com

 

English: Blow Hole, East End - Grand Cayman Island
Image via Wikipedia
Grand Cayman sunset
Grand Cayman sunset (Photo credit: slack12)

Cayman Cookout on Grand Cayman Island is held January.

The glitzy Ritz-Carlton hosts an open-air event on Seven Mile Beach. caymanislands.ky/cookout

Seven Mile Beach - Grand Cayman island
Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

Oregon Coast in Newport, Oregon
Image via Wikipedia

Newport Seafood & Wine Festival in Oregon is held in February.

The 2012 theme is  “Swingin’ On the Vine for the 35th Time.”  Enjoy local oyster, crab, and other seafood dishes while you sip on Pinot Noir, Cab and local mead wine (made from honey).  newportchamber.org

 

English: Bodie Island Lighthouse, Outer Banks,...
Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

Taste of the Beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is held in March.

This festival has “more than 40 events showcasing local seafood and libations from around the world.” There are interesting events like a chowder cook-off and a the tapas crawl. obxtasteofthebeach.com

.

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Actor Don Che...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Pebble Beach Food & Wine in Pebble Beach, California is held in April.

Attend a four-day gastronomic celebration in golf mecca! pebblebeachfoodandwine.com

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

 

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 11:  Padraig Harri...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

 

Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wine Tourism for Epicureans and Oenophiles