San Vino Wine Fight, aka La Batalla de Vino de Haro(Battle of Wine), is a Spanish fiesta where you just don’t drink your favourite wine but you also play and bath with 500 litres of red wine! This crazy battle takes place every year on June 29th in Haro, a small town in Spain in the heart of La Rioja, famous for yielding red wine.
La Rioja is world famous for producing red wine that can be found all over the world, and the town of Haro is home to 40% of the entire region’s vineyards. Wine is a big deal around here. Know more about best wines in Rioja.
Experiences suggest: Groups of old men will close in on you from all sides so that there’s no getting away before pouring wine over your head or slapping it on with paintbrushes. For them it’s all business and if you try to get them back with your own pitiful supplies of wine, they just get angry and waste you harder. It’s best just to let it happen and laugh at how chaotic everything is or at how pathetic you are.
Don’t expect mercy at such events, everyone is out to have fun. The festival lasts for 3 days, 27th to 30th June. The usual programme is as follows:
June 27 Check in and get ready for the Welcome BBQ. Big street party in town.
June 28 Our Warm Up Campsite Party, featuring live bands, DJs and our unlimited drinks
June 29 Early Morning – Hot breakfast.
7 am: Follow the mayor of Haro (who is on horseback) on a 7km procession out of
town, up into the cliffs of Bilibio, to the Hermitage of San Felices. A flag is then
ceremoniously located and a short mass is endured before red, wet carnage
ensues and everyone covers each other with wine splashed from all manner of
containers like buckets, cups, bottles, jugs and even water pistols.
Afternoon – Chill out, get showered and de-purple yourself.
Evening – dinner and Massive campsite party
June 30 Morning – Hot breakfast and goodbyes
You may book your tours for the coming festival.
There are two stories to define the origin of this fest.
A. The history of Batalla del Vino dates back to the 12th century. Sometimes very serious concerns give rise to such fun events. Who would have thought that keeping boundaries of two cities safe could have led to this crazy war.
Haro and the neighboring village, Miranda del Ebro had land conflicts and later it was legally decided that officers will mark their respective boundaries with flags and if they fail to do so then the land will be owned by the other village. Years later, this flag keeping turned into throwing wine.
B. After the death of San Felices de Bilibio in 6th century, people began visiting the cave in which he was buried. The belief was so strong and constant that a chapel was built on his grave in the 18th century, wine initiation was a part of the visits which later turned into celebrations and eventually to this amazing fest.
Take a deeper dip in the famous vineyards of Spain. Know what all you can pair with your glass of wine.
- The dress code is white clothes with a red scarf. You will be painting your world purple today so pay close attention to the things that you don’t want purple.
- Prepare your gears well, carry any type of container that can be used to pour wine and wet others.
- Bring some swimming goggles. The red Rioja wine is nice to have in your mouth, but your eyes perhaps will not like it that much.
- Bring a waterproof bag. Otherwise your belongings will swim through your bag.
- Bring some clean and dry clothes. This might be handy to do if you are planning to travel after the wine fight Spain.
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