BATTLE OF WINE

WINE A BIT
Prepare yourself for the maddest battle of the year: pack your cartons of wine and water guns and make your way up to Haro because the battle of wine known as La Batalla del Vino is back!
Every year, thirsty locals and wine lovers from all around the world come together to celebrate the Festival of Wine on the outskirts of Haro – a city not only famous for its outstanding red wine but also surrounded by nothing but vineyards and an entire economy propped up by wine production. While locals enjoy a whole week of drinking and music, most tourists are only there for the so called battle of wine. Taking place on the Feast Day of St Peter, the 29th of June, the tradition of pouring red wine on each other has made the festival world famous. Even though, the festivity is celebrated on the Saint Peter’s Day, the focus of the festival lays on celebrating wine, people and drinking.

 

source: decanter

Back in the 13th century, the small city Haro had to defend itself against its neighbors in Miranda de Ebro. Each year at Saint Peter’s Day as well as every first Sunday of September, Haro marked the property lines to not become part of Miranda de Ebro. 400 years later, in 1710, the battle of wine seemed to have occurred for the first time. After the mass on the 29th of June which was held every year at the Bilibio cliffs to defend the town, people started to celebrate by throwing wine at each other – the tradition was born. Back in the days, the festival was called War of Wine, which changed in 1965 to Battle of the Wine, known as Batalla del Vino in Spanish.
 

source: The Independent

HELLUVA SPANISH PARTY
The wine festival in Haro starts on the 29th June with wine, wine and more wine. While it is busy everywhere, the town square is the place to be: loud music supports incredible vibes, great food side with even more wine and locals encourage tourists to not stop drinking. Dance through the night with your friends and try to survive as long as the locals do.

 

source: Tasting Europe
 
On the 29th of June, set the alarm early: the day starts with a procession at 7 AM whereby everybody is dressed in white shirts and red scarves. After the celebrated mess at the cliffs of Bilibio, it’s time to head to the “battlefield of wine”. While buses run for the first part of the road, prepare yourself to walk the last kilometer. During the fight every weapon is allowed: buckets, wineskin, sprayers and anything else that can be used to hurl, spray or launch thousands of liters of wine all over the crowd.


source: Daily Mail

Although, the battle of wine is all fun for tourists, it is a very serious matter for locals. To enjoy it anyways, follow our survival guide:
  • Wear googles
    • Your eyes are your weakest part and locals know how painful red wine can be.
  • Just let it happen
    • Locals are professionals – no matter how hard you hit them with your wine, they will get you back 10x worse.
  • You are their guest
    • The festival is made by locals and for locals – you are their guest, appreciate it.
  • Purple, purple, purple
    • 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!

source: Decanter.com

When it’s all done and everybody is purple from head to toe, head back to Plaza de la Paz to celebrate your battle with great food and more wine. In the evening the must-attend event is the bullfight. Against the tradition, harmless bulls, often females, are presented in the arena and no animal is killed.

SPAIN - THE COUNTRY OF WINE
Whether the festivities take place or not – Haro is always a good idea for wine lovers. It is located in the La Rioja region, known all over the world for its outstanding red wine. While 40 % of the entire region’s vineyards are situated in Haro, there are more provinces in Spain worth a visit for red wine lovers. Similar to the delicious wine of La Rioja is the quality wine of Ribera de Duero which has reached a high popularity thanks to its experienced growers. The region Valdepeñas is famous for its long history of producing a distinct style of wine known as aloque or clarete which is made by mixing white and red grapes.

 

source: youtube

source: Ellies Cellar

Whether you got interested in experiencing the wine battle in La Rioja or classy wine tours in other parts of Spain such as Catalonia and Basque Country, do not hesitate to contact us and ask for our programs.