The small inland town of Jumilla is an important focal point for the major wine producing industry in the area and this annual event where hundreds of litres of free wine is given away is a thank you from all the bodegas and commercial vineyards.
Last nights fiesta has to be one of the craziest yet. This has been our third visit to the wine fiesta at Jumilla and once again we were not disappointed.
As hundreds of people line the street, the first float passed by throwing out whistles and the noise level went up a few notches! The bands began to play and soon the crowds were chanting and dancing in the street in anticipation of the night to come. Smiles of pleasure and satisfaction were all around as the floats arrived and the waiters started pouring the wine down eager throats.
Before long there was a sea of purple as the crowd was squirted with wine and everyone’s T-shirts began to turn purple as the wine was poured all over our hair and body.
Small bocadillos were thrown to the crowd to help soak up the wine as the waiters and waitresses continued their pursuit of soaking the crowds.
Beth, our niece on her first visit to the fiesta was soon drowned with wine and dragged into the dancing crowds, happily blowing her whistle. No-one escaped, old or young, male or female and soon the streets were a river of wine. Groups of crazy Spaniards sat in the road and sang the ‘rowing boat’ song whilst waiters and waitresses poured wine over them. Others were jumping up and down in the puddles of wine and splashing everyone in sight. Later as the final floats were passing by, the crowds began ripping off their soaking T-shirts them and threw them over the electricity cables that crossed the street. Groups of people began congregating under the apartments that lined the street as the occupants turned on hosepipes or threw buckets of water over the crowd.
Walking back to the car to change out of our sodden clothes we saw a group of Spanish using the car wash to shower themselves off and decided to join them.
Once changed and feeling clean again we set off back into town to eat and it looked like a bomb had hit it! But as always the Spaniards are well prepared and the road sweeper was already on his way.
Arriving in the main square, we ate a delicious spit roasted chicken at one of the open air restaurants whilst we waited for the turning on of the fountains.Yes, you have to believe it, they had turned off the water to the all fountains in town and replaced it with wine! The bands began to play in the early hours of the morning and crowds settled in for an all night party but we decided to wearily head off back home.
Make a date in your diary, its definitely a fiesta to take part in.
The Vendimia normally takes place around the third week of August