Wine Battle in Haro (Rioja)
In case you do not have plans for end of June you may want to consider to be in Haro around those days. Haro, an important City for Spanish wine, is many times referred to as Rioja´s wine capital.
Every year a very peculiar battle takes place in Haro: the wine battle. Before paying attention to the history behind this “battle” we can summarise its objective, which is no other but to find wine and throw it into somebody else. Thousands of people, with whatever weapon they may find, join this wine war for around 1 hour. Water guns are used, sacks, pitchers…
The day chosen for the wine battle is June 29th. This Fiesta is considered a National tourist interest Fiesta. The wine war takes place 6 kilometers north of Haro. In case you were interested to visit Haro around those days, we would suggest you book your accommodation well in advance. In our Hotels in Haro section we include a number of options.
The Wine war was initiated as part of a “Romeria” to an Abbey located where the war takes place. A Romeria consists of a group of pilgrims that spend a day in a church or Abbey. They walk till they get there and then they spend the day there, eat, etc. In the case of this Romeria, there is already Press evidence at the end of the XIX century that mentions the use of wine to “fight”.
The first time that the Batalla del vino is referred to as such was in 1949. Once the Mass was finished, the battle started. In 1976 the amount of people that participated in the wine wat grew and there was a decision taken to move the location where it took place.
There are some records that indicated that if the war became that, it had to do with a local dispute between Haro and the town of Miranda de Ebro (in the province of Burgos, Castile). The dispute would have been over the ownership of the land where the church was built. The Day of Saint Peter (29thof June) in order to ensure their right over the Church, the citizens would need to claim the ownership and defend it… with wine. So after the Mass and the snack, the wine war would begin.
Since 2004 more activities have been added to the wine war. There is now a war for children. In this case there is no wine, but grape juice. Different activities are organized to ensure the children start to take part of this celebration and maintain the tradition.
There are other similar celebrations in Spain. One of them takes part in Jumilla which takes part around the days of the harvest. In Rioja there is another Fiesta in San Asensio.
Los Agustinos hotel in Haro is located in a spectacular ancient building that has all the modern touches of a luxury hotel. Previously an ancient convent and 19th Century Spanish military assemblage, Los Agustinos welcomes visitors today with its impressive cloister, which has been renovated with a beautiful glass dome ceiling and modern décor