Andalusia's festive calendar is full of wine related events, most of which take place in September during the harvest season.
The year's first festivals however are held in May, and include Cordoba's Montilla-Moriles Wine Tasting Festival and the Manzanilla Wine Fair in Sanlúcar (Cadiz), a hospitable social event on the banks of the Guadalquivir.
After the Public Wine Tasting in Aguilar de la Frontera (July), the month of August brings a vast array of colourful celebrations such as Chipiona's Moscatel Festival in Cadiz, which combines wine tasting with flamenco, as well as the Grape Harvest Fair and Festival in Villanueva del Ariscal (Seville), and the Night of Wine in Cómpeta (Malaga), both of which have been declared Events of Tourist Interest.
September is the most festive month and there are a number of activities which have been declared Events of Tourist Interest including Huelva's Royal Fair and the Grape Harvest Festivals of Condado (Palma del Condado) and Montilla (Cordoba), the latter featuring the Treading of the Grapes, the Flamenco Wine Tasting session, and the fiesta of wines and tapas. Other interesting events held during the month are the Autumn or Grape Harvest Festival in Jerez, the Wine Tasting Festival in Moriles (Cordoba), and the Grape Harvest Festivals held in Bollullos par del Condado (Huelva), and Mollina and Manilva (both in Malaga).
The Mosto Festival (Atajate) and the Feria dedicated to Mosto and Cured Ham Products (Colmenar) are both held at the end of the year.
Montilla-Moriles Grape Harvest Celebration
The Grape Harvest Celebration has been declared an event of National Tourist Interest and involved in its organisation is the Montilla Town Council, the Sisterhood of the Nuestra Señora de Las Viñas, María Santísima de La Estrella and Nuestra Señora de Las Viñas (patron saint of the Noble Guild of the Vine and Wine), as well as the Regulating Board of the Designation of Origin of Montilla-Moriles.
The celebration, one of the oldest of Spain, is held on the first weekend of September, with the intention of commemorating the Pago grape harvest which make up the prestigious Designation of Origin of Montilla-Moriles.
Coinciding with the Montilla-Moriles Grape Harvest Celebration is the Cata Flamenca festival, one of the most prestigious festivals of the country, as well as the Wine and Tapa Celebration, the Competition of Trade Skills (bringing together expert pourers, vaulters and coopers from the region), the horse show, the opening speech of the celebration and various musical performances and sporting events.
Mollina Grape Harvest Fair
The Grape Harvest Fair of Mollina (Malaga) stands out for its cultural relevance, as it is tradition for the opening speech to be conducted by noteworthy literary figures such as Eduardo Mendicutti, Rafael Alberti, Antonio Gala, Rosa Regás, Fernando Quiñones and Lorenzo Silva, among others.
The celebration has a programme filled with activities like the Night of Flamenco and Wine and the Poetry Competition 'Mollina, colour of wine'.
This celebration is heir to the popular equinox celebration, with its origins in the sixties, and came about to celebrate the work of gathering the grape crop, something that goes back to the time of the Phoenicians in the province of Malaga, although in Mollina it didn't start until the second half of the twentieth century.
Jerez Grape Harvest Celebration
Celebrating the birth of this new wine in the region is something that is present in social, cultural and historical arguments and at the same time shows the undeniable impact of Jerez wines in the present and the past. It is one of the most universal brands and not only is it considered to be one of the finest wines in the world, but at the same time it is the essence of this land.
The Grape Harvest Celebration is the celebration of Jerez and all it stands for, which together with flamenco and horses make up the identity of this city.
During the days of celebration, the programme provides a sampling of each of these fundamental identities. From a night of purely Jerez flamenco in the Bulería Fiesta to the horse shows offered by noteworthy international institutions with schools in Jerez.
The Grape Harvest Celebration pays homage to Jerez through different activities, opening with Grape Crushing , which symbolizes the birth of the first must from Jerez grapes. From this moment, the city experiences a series of events and moments that will thrill all those from Jerez are those who choose it as a place to spend a few unforgettable days.
Condado Royal Fair and Wine Harvest Celebration
Palma del Condado holds its Royal Fair and Wine Harvest Celebration during the third week of September, celebrating the birth of wine. It is one of the oldest celebrations in Andalusia, as has been held since 1398, when King Henry III granted the Royal decree. It has been declared to be an event of Tourist Interest of Andalusia.
The Fairgrounds of la Palma are located on the Avenida de la Zarcilla, a place that is busy these festival days with joy, colour, lights and lanterns- in other words, a big party. About 50 booths, all with open access, lets anyone who visits La Palma during this time enjoy its gastronomy and local wine.