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Top 10 Wine festivals

We look at 10 of the best, and quirkiest, wine festivals and celebrations around the world.

If you are planning a city break in 2013, one event that you might consider attending is a wine festival.

From harvest celebrations with a tiny Parisian vineyard, to a festival bringing South African wine to Soweto, and from a parade of giant phylloxera bugs to a chance to get entirely drenched in red wine, these festivals give you the chance to enjoy wine in a new and different way.

Of course, if you prefer beer, then there are a whole host of beer festivals that you could head to.




Festa della Filoxera, San Sadurni

Only in Spain could you expect such an eclectic celebration. A visually stunning parade of brightly coloured effigies of phylloxera bugs take to the streets of San Sadurni d’Anoia in Catalonia, illuminated by firecrackers, as the festival goers celebrate the town’s historic victory over the phylloxera invasion of the 19th century. The 2013 festival takes place over Saturday 7 to Sunday 8 September.

SulaFest, Nashik, India

Set in the vineyards of India’s main wine growing region, Nasik, SulaFest blends music, food and wine to bring a big crowd of wine lovers from nearby Mumbai as India continues to embrace wine culture. This year the Sula Fest takes place on 2 and 3 February.

Vienna Wine Hike

Vienna is unique as a capital city with more than 700 hectares of vineyards within the city limits. For one weekend in the spring, from 19-21 April, you can walk through vineyards normally closed to walkers, and sample wine at a host of wineries and “heuriger” – uniquely Viennese wine taverns serving their own wine with food.

Ban des Vendanges – St. Emilion

The members of the Jurade de St Emilion don their robes on the 31 August this year, and take to the streets as part of a festival that prepares the town for the coming harvest. Plenty of opportunities to take in the architectural charms of this town and sample a few “verres“.

Soweto Wine Festival

Bringing wine and wine culture to the people of Soweto, the festival is now in its eighth year, with the aim of spreading the word about South African wine to the 80% of the population that traditionally had little contact with it. The festival attracted more than eight thousand visitors last year, and runs from 6 to 8 September this year.

Fête des Vendanges, Clos Montmartre

Planted in 1932, this small urban vineyard in the heart of Montmartre in Paris sits next to the Lapin Agile Cabaret bar and celebrates its vintage in early October each year with a special theme and lots of French celebs. The Gamay and Pinot Noir grapes are vinified in the Town Hall of Paris’s 18th Arrondisement and the wine is sold at auction, with the proceeds going to local charitable causes.

Mostra del Chianti, Montespertoli

A celebration in honour of the wines of Chianti takes place in the town of Montespertoli at the end of May, with wine-themed parades, music and food … and lots of Chianti flasks in evidence.

Bordeaux Fête le Vin

At the end of June, the city of Bordeaux turns itself over to a huge wine festival on the banks of the Garonne – where for centuries Bordeaux’s wines were consigned to ships and exported around the world. Buy a tasting pass and enjoy wines from all over the region.

Haro Wine Battle

Spain does it again with this extreme example of wine festivals in the town of Haro in La Rioja. On 29 June, on the saint’s day of San Pedro, townsfolk and visitors, dressed in white shirts, carry every conceivable receptacle filled with wine and proceed to drench each other from head to toe, turning everyone purple.

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