Festivities and Events
There are many wine-related festivals held in Rioja Alavesa throughout the year. The first of the major events dedicated to wine is the Uztaberri Eguna, celebrated every year in February in the town of Lapuebla de Labarca. This is a huge festival with open days at the wineries aimed at showing off the first young wines of the year.
In late March the Alava Olive Oil Festival takes place, held in the towns of Moreda de Alava Lanciego and Oyón. An event continuing to grow in importance year after year, as Rioja Alavesa oil gains in notoriety and prestige. This Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has been awarded the quality seal of Eusko Label and is elaborated with the Arroniz olive variety, unique to the region. During the fair different guided tastings, visits to olive presses, street entertainment and tasting of dishes and pintxos prepared with this oil take place. The aim is create awareness about the product with the visitor hence enabling them to savour its extraordinary characteristics.
Another important event in the region is Easter, with the celebration of different religious ceremonies and traditions dating back centuries.
In summer and with the arrival of good weather, most of the events and festivals are concentrated in towns and wineries, keeping intact their customs and peculiarities. Music festivals are also held, such as Music among the Vines, and theatre, which in all its splendour offers El Lugar de Samaniego, acted out by the residents themselves, recalling the origins of the region.
The summer season is also a period for celebrating festivities in the villages. During these months different dramatized tours are on offer and all kinds of recreational, cultural and sporting events are held. In this section, we should mention the Rural Olympics, Held for the first time in 2012 in the towns of Leza and Navaridas and whose undeniable success ensures continuity in the future.
At the end of summer, the region celebrates The Harvest Festival, the most important event of all related to wine, which exudes joy and colour. It is celebrated during the month of September each year in a different locality in the region of Rioja Alavesa. A festival combining music and dance, cuisine, popular tastings and all the culture and traditions typical of this land of vineyards and barrels.
The end of summer is the beginning of the harvest in the Rioja Alavesa, one of the most special times of the year. It marks the beginning of the winemaking process, when the vineyards give us their fruit and the landscape begins to change to its reddish, ochre colours. Work in the fields and the cellars reaches its peak. During the months of September and October it is possible to participate in some tasks such as harvesting or wine making, thanks to the activities and experiences offered by some wineries and other establishments belonging to the Rioja Alavesa Wine Route.
Rounding off the Rioja Alavesa festival calendar are its numerous food festivals, pintxos contests, artisan markets and cultural events that are held throughout the year in all our towns and villages.