A more mature type of tourist and golfers mark the start of a new season, but the most important line of event at this time of year is the grape harvest which, depending on location and climate, is celebrated from between mid August to October, not just all over Spain, but in every country with a strong producing wine industry.
For instance, California makes quite a big thing of it and you can book a whole string of California Grape Harvest holidays. Last year the Frascatis (Rome) harvest festival celebrations could be seen from a satellite in space. I wonder if its possible to stay sober for the day?
One of the most celebrated harvests on the Costa del Sol takes place, usually at the end of August, in Manilva known for its production of Alexandria Muscat grape which is used to produce a very sweet wine. Of course the harvest determines the quality of the wine produced that year, hence the expression that was a good year! but most of all the celebration is to underline the particular type of grapes grown in specific localities.
Location is particularly important because a cool breeze off the sea, rocky soil with certain minerals, scattered rainfall, and sunshine, all affect the quality of the wine that the grapes produce. These conditions are truly unique to each locality resulting in some rather individual wines that cannot be replicated elsewhere.
Some parts of the world go a step further by controlling a certain standard of quality before a label can show a locations name. For example, in Europe, wine regions employ a regulatory system designed to ensure the highest quality products for consumers. These are called appellations, and each one has its own rules in other words, the standards may differ from Champagne to Port to Sherry, but the result is that consumers are guaranteed a certain level of quality.
With so many varieties of wines, grapes and locations, choosing a wine may be a daunting task, but there are a few steps you can take to make the job easier:
So look out for the next nearest harvest celebration and if you enjoy the wine, add it to your list of preferred wines and move on to the next Vendimia fiesta, after all the tasting is free.