Wine Harvest Festival and Fiesta San Mateo

Logroño has a huge Fiesta every September 21, and for several days around it.  The Fiesta San Mateo goes back to the 12th century, and the Wine Harvest Festival was added in 1956.  It is a Festivity of National Tourist Interest.  Most everyone and every family goes out to celebrate, with children all dressed up and adults wearing San Mateo neckerchiefs.  Events include a special Mass in the cathedral, a parade of Gigantes (giant figures of persons), bands, and dozens of food tents featuring food products from all over Spain .  People line up to buy eggs with local red peppers, and lamb cooked over coals of burning grape vine cuttings (“Chuletas al sarmiento”).  The cuttings are burned into coals right on the pavement of the main plaza, with smoke drifting all over the place.

The highlight of the day is the parade of people dressed up in traditional outfits including a prince and princess of the day (“Vendimiadores”).  Many of them carry baskets of grapes.  They parade to the big park and drop the grapes into a large wooden vat on the stage, with tens of thousands of people looking on.  Later, the grapes are crushed by foot, starting the process to turn them into wine.  The Fiesta is really a fun time for everyone.

Much of the festivities occur in or near Logroño's old town, which is worthwhile visiting on its own.  But if a visitor can make it for the Fiesta, it would be a terrific experience.  If driving, try to find parking by mid-morning on one of the parking lots near the old town, or look for underground parking.

Fiestas of Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Fiestas of Santo Domingo de la Calzada

The La Roija region (where Logroño is located) also holds this festival in early May, to remember St. Domingo and celebrate his life and the miracles he performed.

 

Fiestas of Santo Domingo de la CalzadaFestivals of Santo Domingo de la CalzadaFestivals of Santo Domingo de la Calzada