Fiesta de la Vendimia

Vendimia, Fiesta de la

Second week in September
Spain is famous for its sherry, and some of the best sherry comes from the southwestern part of the country, in a district known as Jerez de la Frontera. This is said to be one of the few remaining places where the juice of the grapes is extracted by trampling them in huge wooden vats, or lagares. Although most people think this is done with bare feet, the participants actually wear specially designed hobnail boots.
In mid-September Jerez de la Frontera holds its Grape Harvest Festival, or Fiesta de la Vendimia, which includes flamenco dancing, cante jondo singing (a distinctive and deeply moving variety of Spanish gypsy song), and bullfighting. There is also an official "blessing of the grapes" and the season's first wine before the statue of San GinÉs de la Jara, the patron saint of the region's winegrowers. The blessing is part of a colorful pageant held at the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria. All of the events that take place during the festival pay tribute in one way or another to wine sherry, the area's most famous product.
CONTACTS:
Jerez Tourist Information Office
Alameda Cristina, s/n
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
34-956-149-863
www.turismojerez.com
SOURCES:
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 483
FestWestEur-1958, p. 204
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 161