The Wine Harvest Festival is celebrated days before the beginning of the grape harvest in Rioja Alavesa. This hugely popular road show event began back in 1994 in the town of Laguardia and since then it has travelled throughout the whole region to promote its municipalities, its way of life and wine as an economic engine and cultural asset.
The festival came about from an eagerness that the residents of Rioja Alavesa had in order to dedicate a few days in praise of its most socially and economically emblematic product: wine. Today it is firmly established with a structure and development that differ from celebrations held in other wine producing regions, with a strong, appealing flavour of Álava.
In addition, its road show format allows the whole region actively participate in the festival, revitalizing the content year after year.
The Wine Harvest Festival begins with the awards ceremony for the wine competition with Rioja Denomination of Qualified Origin “Harvest Awards”, followed by the traditional opening speech which, over the years, has been delivered by relevant personalities from sport, culture, media and society and who become ambassadors of Rioja Alavesa.
The treading of the grape and the tasting of the first must leads to a tour of the host locality, tasting wine classified by village and winery.
The wine, as tradition now dictates, is tasted in a fine wine glass printed with the Rioja Alavesa logo, which in turn becomes a unique memento of the day. Various activities, children’s games, examples of local folklore, culinary demonstrations, music, etc., are combined with the wine tasting turning the event into a festive day of entertainment and harmony.
Beforehand, a day is dedicated to Twinning Rioja Alavesa wine with other products of guaranteed quality, as well as the Rioja Denomination of Qualified Origin Wine Contest, in which the best wines of the three sub-regions of Rioja take part, and a Photo Competition.
The mass attendance of the event does not pose any problems as there is an organisation of volunteers always willing to help, making this day as easy-going and as pleasant as possible.