Guide to the best grape harvest festival activities across Catalonia
Events include wine tasting, vineyard visits and cultural outings
The annual grape harvest season in Catalonia is known as the ‘verema’, when vintners get ready to make wine. Harvest times vary depending on the hemisphere - in the southern one it usually takes place between February and April, while in the north it typically begins in August, as is the case of Catalonia.
Grape harvest festivals, the so-called ‘festes de la verema’ in Catalan, are celebrations held in places where the harvest has just taken place, usually in September or October.
Catalonia has 11 wine Denominations of Origin (D.O.) and one Cava, or sparkling wine, Denomination of Origin: Alella, Conca de Barberà, Costers del Segre, Empordà, Montsant, Penedès, Pla de Bagès, Tarragona and Terra Alta.
Here’s a guide to what to watch out for in some of these winegrowing regions:
In the Penedès region, south of Barcelona, the second edition of the Harvest Festival of Vilafranca del Penedès will start on September 4, kicking off a month of wine-related activities. On that day, several wine cellars in the region will allow people to visit their facilities and have picnics out in their vineyards.
If you want to enjoy the festivity even closer to Barcelona, Alella is currently celebrating its 47th edition, which started on August 27 and will last until September 8. There are visits to wineries, the Masies d’Alella traditional country houses, and wine tasting.
Up north, from September 4 in the city of Figueres and in the whole Empordà area, several wine cellars from the region will hold activities for visitors including vineyard walks, tours of cellars, meals with local food products and wine tasting. If interested, you can also step on grapes to make your own wine.
In central Catalonia, the 26th edition of the harvest festival of Bages county will take place in the town of Artés the first weekend of October. There will be exhibitions, a photography contest, vineyard visits, community meals, wine tasting and concerts, among many other activities that will be announced this September.
If you find yourself in the south of Catalonia, you can enjoy the Ancient Harvest Wine Festival, on September 4, in the small town of Poboleda. During the festival, people will have the chance to participate in the harvest at the vineyards, eat at community meals and participate in wine tasting events.
Some other celebrations have already finished, such as that in the southern city of Espluga de Francolí, which celebrated its 50th edition from August 26 to August 29. People could enjoy wine tastings, cultural activities and guided walks through the vineyards.