It starts with traditions that have been maintained for three centuries, including a procession with the town mayor, and a pilgrimage to the Hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio, the patron saint of Haro – previous to the battle of wine starts.
Participators using water bottles to shoot red wine at one another for La Batalla del Vino. Credit: CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images
Now loved by tourists and locals alike – although total numbers are down from 2014, according to Spanish news outlet Cadena SER – attendees wear all colorless clothing and toss wine at each additional
As well as the Rioja wine, revellers delight in additional local delicacies, including chorizo and morcilla sausages.
Revellers enjoying chorizo and morcilla. Credit: CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images
There are various tales for the wits that wine is thrown at the celebrations, which has developed as a tradition over the past century. Some claim it pays homage to a 13th century land dispute between residents of Haro and those of neighbouring Miranda de Ebro, which finished with a wine fight.
Others say it developed from the saint’s day feasts becoming increasingly wild over the years and eventually being replaced with the wine battle.
Trucks are used to transport the wine up to the Cliffs of Bilibio, and whilst Haro City Council provides 3000 of the litres of wine, the additional 127,000 is donated by the participants.
See the Youtube video below by Lonely Earth.
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