September is synonymous with harvest. While it is true that this process of harvesting the grape harvest has been advanced several weeks in recent decades due to the heat in some parts of our geography, it is normal that, after the summer, the most anticipated event of the year is carried out by the wineries.

Entire cities throughout Spain, where the culture of wine is deeply rooted, celebrate this moment in style with celebrations and activities that include pilgrimages, the traditional treading of grapes, tastings ... Many of them, such as Jerez, Valdepeñas, Jumilla or Sitges (Barcelona), have already had their wine exaltation festivals; others are ready.

For those who have missed them, we propose a trip through five of the best harvest festivals that are still to be celebrated in Spain.

Festivities of San Mateo (Logroño)

The capital of La Rioja celebrates its 66th Harvest Festival, which always coincides with the feast of San Mateo. The event, declared of National Tourist Interest, is one of the best known and multitudinous in the region. It lasts a whole week (this year until Friday, September 22) and the big day is Thursday 21 (San Mateo), the date on which the most anticipated act takes place on the Paseo del Espolón, at 12.30 pm, after the mass in the co-cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda.

Baskets full of bunches of grapes are poured into a tub and then stepped on according to the traditional rite by two men dressed in regional costume who carry out a kind of ancestral dance. The extracted must, the first of the harvest, is offered to the Virgin of Valvanera, patron saint of La Rioja.

Tastings, parades, the bullfighting and ball fair, activities for children, concerts, fireworks, artisan markets, parades of floats and others take place in the city throughout the week (see program here).

The Great Harvest Festival of the Ribera del Duero

Aranda de Duero (Burgos) becomes once again the nerve center of the wine region of the D.O. Ribera del Duero with the sixth edition of the Great Harvest Festival, which will take place on September 22 and 23. A whole weekend full of activities, live performances, gastronomic tastings and lots of wine...

As in previous editions, the Regulatory Council and the City Council of Aranda have designed a varied program of events, including the treading of the grapes, concerts, humorous performances and a multitude of booths serving the best wines of Ribera del Duero.

Cariñena Harvest Festival

Treading of grapes in Cariñena.

The Protected Designation of Origin Cariñena celebrates the 57th edition of its wine exaltation festival on September 23 and 24. As every year, the celebration declared of Tourist Interest of Aragon will have its culminating moment in the lighting of the Fuente de la Mora, from which thousands of liters of wine will flow throughout the weekend after the traditional treading of the grapes.

Two days of celebrations in which there will be tasting of the wines of the Denomination, live musical performances, open day at the Wine Museum and, among other acts, the treading of the grapes will be carried out to obtain the first must of the year and offer it to Santo Cristo de Santiago, patron saint of Cariñena. The wines of the different wineries that make up the D.O. Cariñena can be tasted in the Plaza del Vino of the town.

Rueda Harvest Festival

Vineyards of Rueda.

It is one of the most deeply rooted harvest festivals in Spain, which has been celebrated in the Valladolid town of Rueda for more than thirty years. Once again, from October 6 to 8, the XXXIII edition will feature the white wine of the Denomination of Origin of Rueda, in addition to local cuisine and folk music. Painting and photography exhibitions, performances of Castilian jotas, tastings commented by local winemakers, tourist visits through the municipality, the craft market ... These are just some of the activities planned in the program of festivities this year, which has as a big day on Sunday, October 8.

On that day, the beginning of a new vintage is staged with the treading of the grapes accompanied by the Castilian dances. At the end of the event, the Plaza Mayor hosts the White Wine Fair, with the presence of the different wineries of the town that invite participants to taste their wines. More than five thousand glasses with the seal of Rueda will toast with the best wishes at noon, along with a popular paella and live music.

Toro Harvest Festival

The Protected Designation of Origin of Toro has its harvest festival in the town of the same name, located in the province of Zamora. From October 11 to 15, the streets and corners of Toro will be decorated to celebrate this event of exaltation of wine. The central act of the festival is the parade of traditional carts, decorated as in the past, pulled by animals and loaded with baskets full of grapes accompanied by the countrymen dressed in old harvest costumes. The procession ends with the traditional treading and collection of the first must, which is later tasted by the attendees.

The festival is completed with a medieval market with craft stalls, gastronomy, wine ..., and a program full of competitions, guided tastings, flamenco, musical and theatrical shows, sports and gastronomic days. In addition, the Plaza de Toros hosts a medieval jousting tournament every year.