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“FIESTA NACIONAL DE LA VENDIMIA”:
THE ARGENTINIAN HARVEST FESTIVAL, THE BIGGEST WORLDWIDE WINE CELEBRATION
Many people wonder what is the “FIESTA NACIONAL DE LA VENDIMIA´s” attraction and appeal.
Imagine fireworks, wine queens, dancing, and lots and lots of wine, set against the foothills of the Andes, and you've got the Argentinian Harvest Festival.
And it´s always hard to explain, since it is one of those events you really get to understand when joining the locals there, and experiencing the attraction and the seduction of this enormous festival, that takes place in Mendoza during 10 hole days. In this video you can have a little bit of the spirit of “Vendimia” - 2014 PROMOTIONAL SPOT
In Mendoza you can be amazed anytime by the Vendimia spirit, look this VENDIMIA FLASH MOB by ACEQUIA TV
DAYS & DAYS OF THE BEST WINE
Recently, the Mendoza´s government has extended the event to ten days, but the main attractions begin on the first Friday evening in March with the Queens White Way (Vía Blanca de las Reinas) parade of the 18 queens from the provincial departments. The women wear costumes and ride in elaborately decorated carriages, complete with music and lights, celebrating the winemaking traditions and culture of their departments, complete. The queen hopefuls ride with the outgoing queen she’s replacing. People line the streets for a glimpse of these beauties—and the chance to catch a cluster of grapes, fruits that the women often toss into the crowd. If you’re lucky, you may even receive an entire bottle of wine.
Then, on Saturday morning, everyone gathers for another parade, the "Carrusel Vendimial", which again features queens on their chariots, this time followed by men wearing gaucho-styled outfits riding on horses. Traditional band and dancers representing different provinces of Argentina and Latin American countries typically follow the women. You can also expect parading musicians and street actors to take part in the festivities. The event often attracts upwards of 200,000 onlookers. Running for Harvest Queen is serious business—the women have their own fans and groupies, and their pictures are often found throughout their respective regions, promoting their candidacy for queen. The Carousel is a morning-to-afternoon affair, sometimes lasting five or six hours.
After the morning’s parade, people typically rest up in preparation for the evening’s events. It wouldn’t be a festival in Argentina without song and dance. The Central Act (Acto Central), the grand finale, is typically a large-scale, theatrical production held at the Frank Romero Day amphitheater. This dazzling spectacle features more than a thousand costumed performers dancing to live music and typically draws a crowd of 70,000 people. In true Argentinian style, it’s elaborate, energetic, and uplifting.
Finally, the anticipated moment arrives, and the queen of the harvest is crowned and the evening ends in an explosion of fireworks. If you can’t score tickets to the show, you can join thousands of people often head to nearby mountains to watch the festival and the fireworks.
Wanna see the "Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia - 2013" big finale?
here: Teatro Mágico de Piedra y Vino (Called: Magical theater of wine & stone)
WHERE´S THE WINE?
If you don’t score a bottle from a queen, there are public tastings during the events and up and down the streets. Many restaurants offer special wine pairing menus and promotional prices. (It’s also the only time that McDonald’s in Argentina will serve wine.) On the Tuesday before the festival begins, head about a half hour south to Maipú for Vendimia en Arena Maipú, a three-day event with wine and food pairings, featuring the top chefs and wineries in Mendoza, along with live music and art.
Every year since 1936, on the first weekend of March, Mendoza receives thousands of tourists that share this major celebration with the locals. More than 1,000 artists perform at the Fray Romero Day natural amphitheater and around 70,000 people attend the show that pays tribute to the harvest. Live intense days with parades, music and art celebrations, with more than 300,000 people celebrating life through wine. Those celebrations will definitely enrich your journey: in Mendoza, the wine festive spirit will gets under your skin.
This one-of-a-kind event is one of the most important national festival in Argentina and a world-famous celebration: in 2011 the National Geographic Magazine recognized it as the 2° “Top 10 Harvest Festivals” all over the world.
Come and visit the land of Malbec!
Experience your emotions in a great wine capital.
GETTING TO MENDOZA IN VENDIMIA´S TIME
We strongly recommend booking in advance for this Festival. Contact your travel agency and ask for the best way to have your reservations. This is the Mendoza´s most visited time in the year.
The best option for international tourist is by plane. Mendoza has daily connections with the 2 most important airports in the region: Buenos Aires (120 minutes fly) and Santiago of Chile (40 minutes fly). Mendoza connects with more than 143 flights a week.
Mendoza offers 32.554 beds in more than 800 different accommodations: 5* and 4* HOTELS, LUXURY WINE LODGES and BOUTIQUE HOTELS.
CUISINE AND WINE
You will be amazed by the rich multicultural gastronomic influence in Mendoza, full of delicious dishes that include contributions from the italian, spanish and native cuisine: you will be invited to try typical “criollo” cuisine in all its variants and also discover modern and sophisticated gourmet restaurants and the most traditional canteens -the popular barbecue grills-, in perfect armony with a glass of wine.
FOLLOW US IN WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA
- Facebook: Ministerio de Turismo Mza.
- Twitter: @espiritumendoza | @elgranbrindis
- Youtube: Ministerio de Turismo Mendoza
- Web: argentina.travel
- Facebook: Visit Argentina
- Twitter: @VisitArg
- Youtube: Visit Argentina