Here it is folks! The eagerly awaited event of the year in Jumilla is due to start next weekend – and I am way behind schedule in posting the details here. I blame (in no particular order) the Olympics, my summer cold and the difficulty of obtaining advance information about the festivities.
Don’t miss the Fuente del Vino when you visit Jumilla during the Wine Festival: yes, there really is red wine flowing from the fountain in the Jardín de la Glorieta, though I doubt if it is suitable for drinking. Even John hasn’t tried it! If you want to attend the inauguration of the wine fountain, it will be held at 21.30 on Friday 10 August.
For wine lovers the first event of interest is the Miniferia del Vino, which will be held in the Jardín del Rey Don Pedro from 12.00 on Saturday 11 August. Last year we paid the princely sum of 3€ to purchase a wine glass, then wandered slowly round the stands sampling wines from some of Jumilla’s best bodegas. Luckily each stand provided nibbles to help line our stomachs! Fortunately we live in walking or staggering distance of the gardens, but if you are driving I suggest you agree well in advance who is to be the designated driver.
The special children’s procession, the Cabalgata Infantil, is on Tuesday 14 August, starting from the Plaza del Rollo at 20.30. It’s great fun though no wine is involved!
You can sample more wine during the Cabalgata Tradicional, which is our favourite procession and which will take place at 20.30 on Thursday 16 August. Decorated floats parade along the main streets of Jumilla, with the participants handing out samples of wine, sangria and local snacks while dancing to the accompanying bands. The tables outside the local bars are packed as everyone enjoys a drink while they wait for the procession to reach them. This is the procession for those of us who like to drink our wine rather than get soaked in the stuff!
The main event for many people, especially the youngsters, is the Gran Cabalgata del Vino, which starts at 19.00 on Saturday 18 August. My only advice is to wear your oldest clothes, which traditionally should be white, and have a change of clothing for afterwards! As mentioned earlier, red wine is poured or thrown over the participants, who party through the night. You will need to have plenty of stamina if you decide to join in the fun!
Click on the following link if you want to see the full programme for the Fiesta de la Vendimia. It includes such quirky events as Gran Prix, Jumilla’s own version of “It’s a Knockout”; the launching of the rocket from the town hall balcony to open the Fiesta; the popular grape-spitting competition, a gachamiga-making contest and many more.
Below is a small selection of photos from previous years’ festivities.