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World’s best beer and wine festivals

 Forget Glastonbury, these are the festivals you should be making a beeline for this summer and beyond.

For the beer or wine lover this collection of weird, wonderful and generally delicious events are a must.

Stroll through Vienna’s hidden vineyards, race through some of Bordeaux’s most prestigious estates or take it easy with a world-class beer. You could even dress up as a giant hop plant (left), if the mood takes.

So put away your wellies, pack up your tent and set course for one of these festivals.

Scroll through to discover some of the world’s best beer and wine festivals…

Festa della Filoxera, Sant Sadurni, Spain

Perhaps one of the most bizarre wine-related festivals in the world is Spain’s Festa della Fioloxera, which takes place in the Penedès wine region. Every year a stunning parade of brightly coloured bugs, lit up by firecrackers, make their way through the streets of San Sadurni d’Anoia. Why? To mark the defeat of the devastating phyloxera invasion in the 19th century. This year the festival is due to take place on 7 September.

Marathon du Médoc, Bordeaux, France

Held annually since 1985 the annual Marathon du Médoc in Bordeaux is a must for the energetic wine lover. Taking place on 12 September to coincide with the harvest, the event sees thousands of necessarily fit oenophiles run, jog and walk through 26 miles of the region’s most prestigious estates. What makes this marathon unique, and all the more enjoyable, is the top class wines and oysters that are served to obliging runners en route.

The Great American Beer Festival, Denver, US

The Great American beer festival is one of the biggest beer festivals in the US hosting some 3,000 beers for tasting and a private competition. Founded in 1982, the event has grown each year with the American craft beer industry, and is a positive mecca for beer lovers. More than 50,000 people descend on Denver annually for the festival, drinking around 40,000 gallons of beer between them.

This year’s event is due to take place on 24 to 26 September.

Vienna Wine Hike, Vienna, Austria

Every year nearly 200 vintners in Vienna open their vineyards and allow the public to walk through the city’s 700 hectares of vineyards along normally inaccessible routes. Taking in mountainous vineyards, enchanting forests and spectacular views of the city, walkers are encouraged to sample wines as they go and visit “heurigers” – Viennese wine taverns serving wine and food.

Three recognised routes through Kahlenberg, Nussberg, Bisamberg and Mauer make up the Vienna Wine Hiking Trail, with this year’s event set to take place on the weekend of 26 September.

Ban des Vendanges – St. Emilion

Each year members of the Jurade de St Emilion don their robes and take to the streets to celebrate the region’s impending harvest. The event’s first night will see visitors wander through the medieval town’s streets taking in theatrical performances before before a torch-lit procession and firework display. The following day, the Saint-Emilion Jurade assemble to celebrate the “Harvest Proclamation”, when many of the region’s key supporters are inducted to become ambassadors of Saint-Emilion. This year the event will take place on 19 and 20 September.

The Great British Beer Festival

The UK’s biggest beer festival, The Great British Beer Festival sees nearly 50,000 descend on London’s Kensington Olympia for a week of beer-fuelled fun. Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale, the event features over 900 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers. This year’s event will feature more than 350 British breweries across 27 different bars, entertainment, food and traditional pub games.

La Batalla de Vino de Haro (wine fight)

Not for the feint-hearted, each year Haro in Spain’s Rioja region hundreds of revellers congregate in white t-shirts with various containers of red wine and proceed to drench each other. The festivities begin on 28 June and continue throughout the night into the town’s streets and bars. While generally an excuse for a good time, its origins are said to stem from St Peter’s Feast Day, held on 29 June each year.

Munich Oktoberfest

The daddy of all beer festivals, Oktoberfest was launched in 1810 to commemorate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Held over 16 days, the beer/folk festival now attracts six million visitors a year. Hundreds of beers, all brewed in Munich, are served in traditional steins by lederhosen-wearing Bavarians, generally accompanied by roast chicken and giant pretzels, with Oompah music setting the scene. This year’s event will take place from 19 September to 4 October.

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