The Wine Battle of Haro
It seems like Spain can’t get enough of battles. Be it a bull fight, tomato fight or getting trampled by the charging bulls during the running of the bulls event, Spain has been the hub of weird but adventurous events. Wine Battle of Haro is an addition to the list. Every year on 29th June, thirsty local and tourists climb the mountain in La Rioja to throw the red liquid over each other. This is not that kind of a festival wherein the participants would stand around with glasses and scoff camembert. It is rioja-soaked carnage, the best kind ever. People come down to the town of Haro to Spray more than 50,000 litres of wine.
Now don’t lose your sleep over thinking that so much of wine is going to get wasted. Since the wine used in the Bacchanalian fight is no Gran Reserva, you won’t even use it in a sauce. However, participants don’t come with empty handed to this battle as their weapon is the traditional bota bag. They need to sling it over their shoulder to have vino access throughout the event. With this Bota Bag by your side, you have the power to shoot the red wine as far as possible.
History of The Haro Wine Festival
For every Spanish fiesta, there is a history behind. And the wine battle dates back to the thirteenth-century dispute between Haro and Miranda de Ebro. It was then when the king ordered to mark Haro’s border with crimson banners on every Saint Peter’s Day as well as the first Sunday of September. Some four hundred years later, the Saint Peter’s Day began to be observed in a joyous wine sharing celebration. This celebration turned into the purple shower and was dubbed Battle of Wine in the year 1965.
Start Your Day with Wine
Haro Wine Festival starts early sharp at 7am. The mayor leads the procession on the horseback that is followed by the crowd including people of all ages, leading through to the Bilibio cliffs. Like the La Tomatina and the Running of the Bulls, the dress code is white teamed with a red scarf. By the end of the battle, the clothes will no more be white. Actually, they will never be so. The blotchy purple hue on the clothes will smell like winery when you take them home.
The Ultimate Twist
Unlike Pamplona’s savage bullfight, Haro’s bullfight is basically a heifer fight. It takes place in the local ring of the town in the evening letting the youth show off their agility amongst the heifers. The locals try their best to make sure that they aren’t cowardly with the heifers. Of course, this battle won’t bore you to death, so you can either be a spectator or participate in the adventure.
When you have had sufficient, then come more wine to bring the end to the day. Bonfires rise and the rest of the time is spent by drinking and eating in Spanish fashion. Since the wine battle is a day’s matter, why not take an extra day to explore this part of Spain.
Things to Keep in Mind when Going to the Event
Bring a Splash-proof Camera
It’s the time to click a whole lot of pictures. The Wine Battle of Haro will offer you ample opportunities to get photos. Bring a waterproof bag to keep your camera safe. It would be the best to bring a splash-proof camera so that you don’t have to worry about it getting wet.
Wine in the mouth is definitely a treat, but not in the eyes. Individuals having sensitive eyes should hire goggles or mask.
Do not Drink
You can if you want, but it is best not to as stated earlier that this type of wine is not good for consumption. In case you require a little tipple in order to get ready for the fight, bring some with yourself.
How to Get There?
Haro is situated in the La Rioja region of Spain, which is like 48km from Logroño. Since Vitoria is the closest airport you can take a flight to this stop. And from there you can board a bus to Haro. This town is well connected with all the major Spanish cities.
Featured image credit : spanishwinelover.com