Vendimia Festival 2015
Every year Mendoza comes alive in a way that is difficult to explain in words. Towards the end of summer (end of February beginning of March) the annual harvest festival, known as the Vendimia, begins. The Vendimia is an exciting time meant to celebrate an entire year of hard work and a labor of love. The fruits of that labor, the grapes, are the focal point and the later product, the wine, is the star of the show.
That being said, of course the wine is plentiful and grapes are even tossed from elaborate floats during the parade, but Vendimia has so much more to offer. The hype starts weeks before and the festival is days long and consists of events spanning across every morning, afternoon, and evening. Here is a taste of what you can expect during the Vendimia.
Jazz On the Lake: Leading up to Vendimia, San Martín Park (Mendoza´s main park which is larger than Central Park) fills with thousands of people who come to listen to different jazz bands from around the country. The stage is on an island in the middle of the lake that the park encircles.The fun starts on a Friday and doesn´t stop until Wednesday of the following week. It is a perfect way to spend a warm summer´s evening with friends and great entertainment.
Megadegustación (Mega-tasting): The mega-tasting is a tradition that allows people to really delve into the wine culture and enjoy what this festival is all about. For a small fee, you can sample an abundance of different wines from different makers, all while enjoying live music, movies, and restaurants on Mendoza´s famous Sarmiento Street connecting to Independence Plaza.
The Vendimia Queen: One of the main events is the crowning of the Vendimia Queen. A different woman from each department of the province competes in a pageant to win the crown and represent the harvest and Mendoza in general. The crowning event is held on the first day of the Vendimia show and the people of Mendoza can get to know the candidates at a Miss Universe inspired presentation in front of the Governor´s house.
The Vendimia Show: The plazas and streets are always filled with different artistic previews of what is to be expected at the culminating Vendimia show. A combination of vibrant colors, music, and dance; the Vendimia show is one you don´t want to miss. One can find native flares mixed with bursts of modernity all brought together creating a one-of-a-kind experience in the middle of the Andes.
So this year, 2015, lift your glass and cheers to a successful 2014 wine season!