The Haro Wine Festival is popularly known as a Wine Fight. The festival that is hosted on the outskirts of Haro, is one of the most exciting wine festivals in the world. Haro is a wine-producing town in Spain’s La Roja region, and it is home to some of the best wines. Almost forty percent of the town is covered with enchanting vineyards, and wine is definitely something important in this region. The locals of Haro celebrate a week of drinking and merrymaking, and the famed Wine Fight that is called Batalla de Vino, takes place on June 29.
The wine festival traces its history way back to the 13th century, as this was the time when Haro officially marked their property lines to distinguish their territory with that of their neighbour, Miranda de Ebro. This would take place every year on the first Sunday of September, which is Saint Peter’s Day. Years later, people would start throwing wine at each other, and the tradition came to be known as War of Wine. Later in 1965 it came to be known as the Battle of the Wine.
The festival sees huge attendance every year, as revellers come together to feast and drink and celebrate this age old historic tradition. You shouldn’t be surprised if you find people pouring wine into each other’s mouth. In the modern days people adhere to a particular clothing style, so they wear white shirts and red scarves.
The wine battles take place in the morning, as people come armed with buckets, wineskin, and sprayers. By midday everyone goes to Plaza de la Paz where the festival continues with lots of drinking, dancing, and food. During the evening, bulls are taken out for entertainment, as they run around chasing people. These are actually female heifers, as the male bulls are more aggressive.
There are numerous other activities happening during this time, most of which involve people taking to the streets and revelling to their heart’s content. But the Wine Fight or the Battle of the Wine is by far the most attended and famous event. If you do happen to go there, know that you are in for the ultimate merrymaking festival. And don’t forget that getting drunk is a pre-requisite to this festival.