Spain’s one of the most unique festival, the wine fight or also known as La Batalla de Vino de Haro is a perfect opportunity to visit Spain’s most famous wine region and spend an amazing day in the wine yards of La Rioja. Take your water guns and prepare yourself for the wine fight!
Every year on the 29th of June locals and visitors come together in the famous wine region of La Rioja in the wine yard of Haro to celebrate together on Saint Peter’s Day (El dia de San Pedro) with this crazy festivity. During the celebration people pour sweet liquids all over each other, eating, drinking and singing together.
A bit of history
The roots of the festival are goes back to the 13th century. The people of the towns of Haro and Miranda del Ebro were constantly fighting over property and land, but in 1237 the villages were commanded to stop, and indicate the town boundaries with purple banners. The process of dyeing the fabric and carrying it to the town borders is more or less what the people re-enact at the festival when they carry wine buckets throughout the city. These were the really beginnings of the Batalla de Vino, which since that takes place in each year. Eventually the town’s people added more and more traditions, like throwing wine and getting drunk after mass on the day of San Pedro.
People during the Batella de Vino
The current celebrations
This unique festival celebrates the saints of San Juan, San Felices and San Pedro. The celebrations usually starts on the 29th of June, on the day of Saint Peter at 9:00 AM with a Holy Mass in the Cliffs of Bilibio. After the Mass everyone is heading to the wine yards of Haro, carrying bottles, buckets and other type of containers filled with red wine. Once everyone is arrived the wine battle begins, everyone starts to splash wine to each other until everyone is soaked in the sweet red liquid. Every type of “weapon” is allowed, `participants can use bottles, buckets, water-guns and anything else that can be used to hurl, spray or launch thousands of litres of wine all over the crowd. The fight usually continues for few hours up until midday, when everyone starts to head back to the city’s famous square to the Plaza de Paz, where the celebrations are continues with music, dancing, tons of food and more wine. During the afternoon people are cooking typical dishes of La Rioja on the streets of Haro, where everyone is welcomed to try the delicious chuletillas de sarmieto (pork ribs), lechal (baby lamb) and other type of amazing dishes of the region. Moreover, the festival don’t stop later either, the festivity continues in the evening with several different activities. The most famous from all of it is taking place in the town’s bull ring, where only young people can participate and the "bulls" are actually just female heifers in Spanish so called “vaquillas”.
Battle of Wine
Good to know
- Nowadays everyone is supposed to be clothed in white shirts with a red scarf during the battle. After the battle the white clothes won’t be any more whiter as well your skin and hair will be dying purple and you will smell like grapes for the next few days, but believe us: it’s worth it!
- Do not forget your swimming googles at home because red wine can be really painful if it runs to your eyes instead of your mouth (which is highly possible).
- Also recommended to bring your own “weapon”, such as water gins, bucket etc. to the event if you would like to take part in the funniest ways.
- The wine battle is a really serious and saint festivity for the locals, please appreciate that you are a guest and enjoy their lovely hospitality.
Pouring wine from bucket
The region of La Rioja is not only famous because of the Battle of Wine but this region is the best wine producing part of Spain and always a good choice if you are a wine lover. Haro, where 40% of the entire regions vineyards are situated is known for its deep reds with fruity flavours and home of the best wines across Spain. The historic bodegas are waiting for the visitors from spring to autumn with a high variety of foods and beverages.
The wine yards of Haro
If you got interested to visit Spain’s most famous wine battle festival or you are a wine lover and would like to explore the best wines of Spain do not hesitate to contact us and ask about our programs!