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The world’s largest harvest celebration
The harvest season in Mendoza isn’t just about the picking of fruit, but it is also the biggest celebration of the year with hundreds of thousands of visitors descending on the city for festivals of music, dance, performance and, of course, wine.
Mendoza’s Fiesta de Vendimia (Harvest Festival) is in fact one of the largest wine celebrations in the world. During the last week of February and first week of March the population of the city swells with visitors from near and afar, who come to see the impressive spectacle of the big Vendimia show and enjoy the fringe events around it.
Although the main festivities only span a long weekend, there are concerts, performances and wine tastings being held for months in the run up and months afterwards. From the turn of the New Year through to the end of Autumn, Mendoza is a hive of activity related to the harvest celebrations.
All hands on deck
This time of year is also when you’ll see many more faces and hands in the vineyard than usual. With the large majority of Mendoza’s grapes being handpicked, the harvest season sees an influx of harvest help come in from all over Argentina and neighbouring countries. It’s also a time when many harvest interns travel from all different corners of the world to work in the wineries and learn about the secrets to making world class Malbec. The excitement is palpable and this is a moment of great cultural exchange and celebration.
The ideal climate to explore
The balmy Autumn temperatures are also ideal for basking in the vineyards until late. With clear sunshine and long days, this is the ultimate time of year to explore Mendoza’s travel highlights.
Autumn is the end of the climbing season in the mountains which offers great peace and tranquility among the newly laid virgin snow, and you can still enjoy the warm temperatures and peaceful landscapes surrounding Mendoza’s water sports (rafting, windsurfing and kite surfing).
This is also one of the most picturesque moments in the year — when the trees take on colourful shades of auburn and gold, the vines are still laden with green foliage and juicy fruit, and the Andes mountains provide that perfect snowy backdrop. There’s no better time to be in Mendoza than harvest.
By Amanda Barnes