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Experience Spain’s Biggest Wine Fight In Haro In 2024

La Batalla del Vino - The Wine Fight, Haro, La Rioja, Spain
La Batalla del Vino – The Wine Fight, Haro, La Rioja, Spain [Image by Alfonso Bermejo Garcia on Flickr]


Just like India has its Holi Paint Festival, and Buñol has La Tomatina, Spain has several Wine Fights, including the biggest one in Haro. This crazy event sees crowds of people spraying and splashing wine all over each other and generally having a great time in the La Rioja wine region of the country.  Read on to find out more about this crazy, fun event.

La Batalla del Vino – The Wine Fight in Haro, Spain

La Batalla del Vino, Haro
La Batalla del Vino [Image by Alfonso Bermejo Garcia on Flickr]
Spain is known for its fun Wine Fights in several areas of the country. However, Haro dubs itself the Capital of Rioja, and according to the Bergers of the town, it holds the biggest and best Wine Fight. This happens every year on the Feast of San Pedro, on June 29 and you can experience it.

Meanwhile, the Wine Fight in Haro (La Batalla del Vino de Haros) forms part of the wider Haro Wine Festival which runs from June 28 through June 30. No one knows for sure how otherwise sensible people work themselves up into a comical frenzy and throw, spray and pour around 130,000 liters of wine over each other.

La Batalla del Vino, Haro
La Batalla del Vino [Image by BigSus on Wikimedia Commons]
One legend says that while on a pilgrimage to the hermitage of Los Riscos de Bilibio on June 29 some centuries ago. It says that a villager decided to pour wine he had been carrying all over his traveling companion.

Another legend says the Wine Fight dates back to a legal dispute with the nearby town of Miranda de Ebro. The towns were fighting over ownership of some cliffs and after they held a mass, a peaceful battle erupted, leading to everyone soaked in wine.

Yet another legend suggests that the event dates back to the 6th century. However, the legend doesn’t explain why, and while the truth might never be known, it happens each year and locals and visitors have a great time.

Preparing for battle

The Wine Fight
The Wine Fight [Image by Alfonso Bermejo Garcia on Flickr]

Most people dress for the event in white with a red scarf, much like participants in the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. They gather early in the morning to follow the town’s mayor, riding on horseback, on a 7 km (4.3 mi) pilgrimage to the Cliffs of Bilibio, and the Hermitage of San Felices.

After a short mass is held, the madness starts with those participants queuing up to collect their share of the wine transported for the event. They use buckets, jugs, water guns, and anything else that can hold the red wine and then begin to soak each other, with white clothing turning into a pretty pink shade.

Anyone who thinks this is a waste of good wine, don’t worry as this particular wine would have been turned into vinegar. Meanwhile, the participants supply some of the stock while the Haro town hall donates several thousand liters.

Lunch break in the Wine Fight

Spray off the wine
Spray off the wine [Image by BigSus on Wikimedia Commons]
Naturally, all this fighting takes up the participants’ energy and by midday, most of them are hungry. Meanwhile, they head back to the Plaza de la Paz slip-sliding most of the way. Moreover, the fiesta continues with plenty of good food and quality wine to enjoy.

The evening sees an event involving bulls, but don’t worry, it is not a traditional bullfight and no animals (or humans) are hurt or killed. This part of the fiesta involves heifers rather than full-grown bulls, who chase any participants brave enough to enter the bullring.

What about the kids of Haro?

Wine Fight in Haro
Wine Fight for the kids in Haro [Image by BigSus on Wikimedia Commons]
While the main Wine Fight is strictly an adult affair, the town does make up for it by holding a children’s Wine Fight. A few days before the main event, the kids are given containers of red liquid. As with their elders, they go on a short pilgrimage to the town’s fairgrounds. Once there, they make an offer to the patron saint and then start coating each other with the red liquid until they are soaked to the skin. Naturally, they have a great time and they also get treated to lunch once they finish.

If you are traveling to Spain in June 2024, why not take a short pilgrimage yourself to the town of Haro. Join the fun of the Wine Fight, then learn more about this beautiful Spanish town while drinking some of the best red wine in the country.

Find out more about the event and the town itself on Haro’s website. In the meantime, enjoy the 2023 Wine Fight in the video included here. Judging from the video, the people of Haro also party the night before the Wine Fight!



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