Spain is wine country, and few areas of the land are as identified with exceptional tintos (red wine) as those in the Ribera del Duero region, located in the country's northern plateau. Take an autumnal holiday in Spain to experience the harvest activities first-hand, a veritable celebration that combines ancient custom with the practical processes required to produce Castile and León's most delicious wines.
As the locals harvest these mighty grapes and proceed to manually press them, view local folk dances and enjoy a glass of the first mosto (young wine) in the heart of this northern wine country, all from the comfort of one of Paradores' luxury and historic hotels' finest locations, Parador Segovia.
A paean to grapes
The vendimia (harvesting of wine grapes) is one of the most important times of the year throughout the Ribera del Duero region.
As an official Denominación de Origen (an officially regulated, geographic source of quality wine), the largely flat, rocky region is famous for the grapes that spring up on the banks of the Duero River, stretching from Segovia to Burgos, Soria and Valladolid. With production dating back to Roman times, the region's modern wines are almost exclusively tinto finos, delicious and full-bodied.
The harvesting of these grapes takes place during the beginning of autumn throughout Castile and León, with entire families participating in the processes. With such levels of interaction, it's no surprise that the event becomes a festival, with practical activity and popular tradition mixing in the streets.
Many towns host harvest festivals throughout autumn. After the grapes are picked and manually pressed in the town square, visitors are offered fresh mosto and dancers in regional dress perform historic folk dances. Other villages host 'Wine Days', where traditional harvesting processes are recreated, and many wineries also allow the general public to assist in the elaborate production processes.
Eager to discover the best of Ribera del Duero's wine harvest? Contact Parador Segovia today!