The Spanish Language Blog

Mendoza, located in western Argentina and known for its wine production. The area produces as much as 80 percent of Argentina's total wine production. The capital of Mendoza province of the same name hosts the "Fiesta de la Vendimia," also known as the Harvest Festival, every year during the first week of March. A popular festival in Argentina in which 400,000 visitors celebrate the harvest of local grapes and shake up the northern city.

  • Fiesta de la Vendimia, Mendoza's harvest festival is number two on the World's Top 10 of Harvest Festivals according to The Guardian. This festival is one of the largest and most popular festivals in Argentina and Latin America.
  •  The festivities consist mainly of beautiful parades where each chosen queen parades in an outfit based on characteristics of their region.
  • The highlight and conclusion of the festival is the choosing of the Queen of the Harvest. Each of the 18 regions elects a Queen of the Harvest in December and the winner is chosen from among them during the first week of March.

The first week of March is very important in the city of Mendoza. The whole community celebrates together the harvest of the grapes and that the long year of hard work with many efforts is over. For those who suffered from the hail storms and lost their grape harvest as a result, it is time for their hope to be reborn. The harvest festival is not just a week-long celebration. It is a long process and begins as early as the Argentine summer (December). Each of Mendoza's 18 regions first selects a "Queen of the Harvest," who will represent the region during the festivities in the city of Mendoza.

The festival officially begins on the first Friday of March with the first event "Via Blanca. The 'Via Blanca' is a parade in which symbolic vehicles from each region transport their queens through the streets of downtown Mendoza. In decorative outfits, they show the character of their region to more than 200,000 visitors. Be sure to catch one of the bunches of grapes thrown by the queens! The next morning, the "Carrusel Vendimial" takes place. It is a daylight parade where the queens are accompanied by men on horses dressed in Gaucho outfits. The parade is followed by wagons and carriages from colonial times, dancers representing different Argentine and South American regions and musicians. The celebration ends with the "Acto Central," at the famous Frank Romero Day theater, a Greek theater in downtown Mendoza. It is a spectacle with many dancers, lights and folk music. At the end of the show, the Queen of the Harvest is chosen and it concludes with a beautiful fireworks show.

The Mendoza Harvest Festival in Argentina is one of the most famous celebrations of wine and the wine industry worldwide. According to National Geographic's Top 10 World's Harvest Festivals, the Mendoza Harvest Festival ranks No. 2. As such, it is one of the most popular festivals in Argentina and in South America. The atmosphere, the people, the folkloric music, the Harvest Festival in Mendoza is definitely worth a visit. Especially for people who are into wine; it is a carnival party for wine lovers!

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