Wine festivals in Spain (ferias de la vendimia) are popular celebrations which are held in many of the country’s wine-producing regions. They coincide with the annual grape harvest in autumn and have origins which date back centuries. In many regions the festivals have evolved into important tourism events which showcase traditional methods of wine production. Common activities during these festivities include grape treading ceremonies (pisado de uvas) and the blessing of the harvest together with parades, music and the crowning of a festival queen.
Top 20 Wine Festivals in Spain
Fiestas de la Vendimia de Jerez de la Frontera (Andalucía)
The Jerez de la Frontera Harvest Festival which takes place during the first fortnight is recognised as a Festival of International Tourist Interest. The highlight of the event is the treading of grapes which produces the first must (unfermented grape juice) which will be transformed into sherry wine. Many other activities take place around the city including equestrian shows, flamenco performances and other musical and cultural events. Visitors can also enjoy the food fairs and take tours of the famous wineries such as Bodegas Tío Pepe-González Byass and Bodegas Sandeman.
Fiesta de la Vendimia de Montilla-Moriles (Andalucía)
The Montilla-Moriles Wine Harvest Festival is one of the country’s oldest grape harvest festivals which has been declared a Festival of Regional Interest. It takes place in early September when the grape treading ceremony extracts the first must which is offered to the Virgen de las Viñas. Other events include open access to wineries, the renowned Cata Flamenca festival, equestrian shows and numerous musical performances across town. The annual festival is a celebration of the importance of the annual grape harvest to this town in the Province of Córdoba and its long-standing winemaking legacy.
Fiestas de la Vendimia Riojana – Fiestas de San Mateo (La Rioja)
The Rioja Wine Harvest Festival is held annually in mid-September in the city of Logroño, the capital of La Rioja. Also known as the Fiestas de San Mateo, the event celebrates the Rioja wine region’s grape harvest and showcases its exceptional wines. Rooted in 12th-century trade fairs, this week-long event begins with the iconic grape treading ceremony in which townsfolk crush over 14,000kg of grapes by foot to extract the sweet must. Religious offerings of the must are then made to La Virgen de Valvanera who is the patroness of La Rioja.
Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, tours of Rioja bodegas, vibrant parades with elaborate floats, live music performances and traditional dance shows. Regional cuisine and street fairs also play a central role in the festivities. The San Mateo Festival has been declared a National Tourist Interest Festival (Fiestas de Interés Turístico Nacional) which serves as an important celebration of La Rioja’s rich winemaking heritage.
Festival de Chuletillas de San Mateo: This is an important food event during the Rioja wine festival which sees Avenida de Colón in central Logroño closed to traffic. In its place are a long line of fires which are made by burning the wood saved from the previous year’s grape vines. The embers are then used to grill vast quantities of pork chops which are enjoyed with wine by groups of friends at temporary tables set up along this main thoroughfare.
Batalla del Vino: Another major wine-related event to look out for in La Rioja is the Wine Battle in Haro which takes place annually on the 29th June. Coinciding with the feast of San Pedro, this unique fiesta sees participants soak one another in thousands of litres of red wine using buckets, water guns and any other vessels available.
Fiesta del Vino Albariño in Cambados (Galicia)
The Albariño Wine Festival is an annual event held in early August in the coastal town of Cambados in Galicia. The event dates back to 1953 when it began as a competition between wineries. It was declared a Festival of Tourist Interest to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1977 and this was awarded to international status in 1990. Today, this four-day event attracts over 200,000 visitors to the picturesque town in the Rías Baixas wine region. The highlight of the event is the crowning of the Festival Queen who promotes the light and fruity Albariño wines worldwide throughout the following year.
Fiesta de La Vendimia de Rueda (Castilla y León)
The Rueda Wine Harvest Festival was established more than 30 years ago and goes from strength to strength in showcasing the fine white wines of the Denominación de Origen Rueda. The event is held in early October and transforms Rueda’s Main Square into an open-air tasting room as regional wineries pour countless glasses of their latest vinos. The festival attracts thousands of visitors who enjoy a full weekend of wine-related activities together with music, folk dancing and a communal paella feast. Declared a Regional Tourist Attraction, the Rueda harvest festival offers visitors a lively insight into the Rueda wine region and the local culture of Castilla y León.
Fiesta de la Vendimia de Cariñena (Aragón)
The Harvest Festival of Cariñena has become one of Aragón’s premier events since first being held in its modern form in 1960. Recognised as the wine capital of the region, Cariñena has a long tradition of winemaking which is celebrated at this annual fiesta in late September. Popular activities include the typical grape treading ceremonies and wine tastings together with processions and music concerts which attract visitors from all over Spain. A special highlight is the Wine Train which shuttles visitors from Zaragoza to Cariñena for the wine festival.
Fiestas de la Vendimia de Valdepeñas (Castilla La Mancha)
Since 1953, the Valdepeñas Wine and Harvest Festival has been held in Ciudad Real to celebrate the grape harvest of Castilla La Mancha. This week-long festival takes place during the first week of September. Wine-related events include a blessing of the grapes ceremony, grape treading, harvest processions and the crowning of the Harvest Queen. The fiesta attained the status of a Festival of National Tourist Interest in 1976 which officially recognised its cultural and historical significance in the region.
Fiestas de la Vendimia de Navarra
Up in the north of the country, the medieval town of Olite hosts the Navarra Wine Harvest Festival for a weekend at the end of August or at the beginning of September. While visitors sip local wines, parades march through the streets accompanied by brass bands. Folk dance groups perform traditional steps like the Espadon sword dance. Crowds cheer on grape treading contests in the main plaza where participants find out that it’s harder than it looks to extract juice from the slippery grape skins.
Sitges Wine Harvest Festival – Fiesta de La Verema (Catalonia)
Taking place in late September, the Sitges Harvest Festival is an annual event sponsored by Bodegas Torres. The highlight of the fiesta is the grape stomping contest which challenges participants to see who can tread the most grapes in three minutes. The winners are named Festival King and Queen which is a great honour for local youths. A major attraction for all visitors is the wine fountain which is set up in the main square.
Fiestas de la Vendimia de Villafranca de los Barros (Extremadura)
Bullfights and parades mark Extremadura Day on September 8th which coincides with the Villafranca de los Barros Wine Harvest Festival. The convergence of these two fiestas means double the celebrations as visitors join locals in treading grapes in traditional barefoot style. If you’re in this part of Spain at this time of year the event also provides a great opportunity to learn about Extremadura’s wine culture where unique grapes like Rufete and Juan García thrive in the hot climate to produce full-bodied reds. The gastronomy fair spotlights regional specialties like sheep cheese, Iberian ham and cherry-flavoured liqueur.
Gran Fiesta de la Vendimia de Ribera del Duero (Castilla y León)
The Ribera del Duero Wine Harvest Festival takes place during the last week of September in Aranda de Duero (Burgos). The weekend event includes a number of family-friendly activities and allows the region’s prestigious wineries to showcase newly released vintages of its famed Tempranillo-based reds.
Feira Do Viño Do Ribeiro (Galicia)
First held in 1964, the Ribeiro Wine Fair is an event which celebrates the wines and rich viticultural traditions of the Ribeiro wine-producing region of Galicia. The lively event takes place in late April at the Alameda fairgrounds in Ribadavia and has been declared a festival of National Tourist Interest. It serves as a platform for local winemakers to present their diverse range of wines with local wineries offering tours and tastings.
Fiesta de la Vendimia Yecla (Murcia)
The Yecla Wine Harvest Festival is held in early September in the town of Yecla in the very north of the Spanish region of Murcia. Taking place in early September, the festival celebrates the grape harvest of the Yecla DOP (Denominación de Origen Protegida) and showcases the region’s winemaking traditions. A highlight for many visitors is the opportunity to take tours of local vineyards and wineries along the Yecla Wine Route. Other activities include the grape treading ceremony, street processions and traditional Murcian folk music and dance performances.
Fiesta de la Vendimia de Rioja Alavesa (País Vasco)
The Rioja Alavesa Wine Harvest Festival is an interesting event as it is held in a different host town every September. It was first staged in Laguardia in 1994 as a celebration of the region’s viticultural heritage. The multiday festival includes regional wine tastings from various Rioja Alavesa localities together with parades of residents in traditional dress and Basque sporting contests. The much awaited Basque log cutting tournament tends to be the most of these events for first-time visitors.
Fiesta de la Vendimia de Requena (Valencia)
The Requena Wine Harvest Festival honours the winemaking traditions of the Valencian region of Spain. Held from late August to early September, the event marks the culmination of the grape harvest season with traditional grape treading ceremonies, vibrant parades and wine tastings featuring the renowned wines produced in the area. The festival also incorporates a mix of cultural activities, live music performances and pop-up food stalls serving typical dishes from the region.
The highlight of the event for many is known as La Noche de la Zurra when festival-goers parading the streets call for water to help with the next year’s grape harvest. Neighbours and firemen alike then delight in making their prayers come true by using hoses and buckets to totally soak the crowds.
Phylloxera Festival (Catalonia)
The Phylloxera Festival is just one part of the Les Fires i Festes celebration which takes place from from 6th to 9th September in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia (Catalonia). The festival commemorates the town’s resilience and recovery from the devastating phylloxera epidemic which struck the vineyards in the late 19th century. A particular highlight of te evnt occurs on the night of 7th September when a giant phylloxera passes through the streets of Sant Sadurní. other activities include cava tastings, street parades and a range of cultural performances.
Fiesta de la Vendimia de Cangas de Narcea (Asturias)
Taking place in mid-October in the Asturian town of Cangas, this is the only wine festival in this northern region of Spain where the winemaking tradition stretches back to medieval times. The Wine Harvest Festival of Cangas provides a fascinating insight to the viticultural challenges of producing wine in the mountainous vineyards of Asturias. It has been officially recognised as a a Festival of Tourist Interest of the Principality of Asturias. Activities include reenactments of grape transportation by oxcart and traditional stomping of grapes by foot. These main events are supplemented by tastings of the region’s Vino de Cangas PDO wines, an open-air market and winery tours.
Fiesta de la Vendimia de Jumilla (Murcia)
Celebrating the culmination of the grape harvest season, the Jumilla Wine Harvest Festival takes place in mid-August in the town of Jumilla in Murcia. The event attracts thousands of visitors and has been declared a Festival of Regional Tourist Interest (Interés Turístico Regional). The traditional stomping of grapes to extract the must that will be used to make the wine is one of the most popular visitor activities. Others include vineyard and winery tours, a medieval market, live music concerts and the float parade. The 10-day event culminates in the Great Wine Parade (La Gran Cabalgata del Vino) which sees participants soak one another with an estimated 70,000 litres of wine.
Feria de la Manzanilla in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Andalucía)
Standing at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river, overlooking the Doñana National Park, the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda celebrates its wine festival in early June. The annual event is dedicated to the local Manzanilla wine which is similar to sherry but unfortified and with a delicate flavour created by sea breezes. As well as winery tours and tastings there is plenty merriment with music and dance events and bullfights which attract some of the top matadors to the town’s plaza de toros.