The Wine Battle (Batalla del Vino) in Haro Spain
We had absolutely no idea what we were in for when deciding to attend Haro’s annual Wine Fight festival, also known Batalla del Vino (Wine Battle) or San Vino. Spaniards and visitors alike have loads of fun each summer with its many annual festivals. Of course you’ve heard of the Running of the Bulls (known as San Fermin) in Pamplona. And maybe you’ve seen some fun clips of the Tomatina festival in which a tomato war wages on each year.
But there’s another annual battle that takes place in Spain. This one is in a town called Haro, deep in Spain’s famed Rioja wine region. Here, the weapon of choice is not tomatoes, but vino (wine)! We just had to see what this Batalla del Vino (Wine Battle) was all about.
The Festivities the Night Before the Haro Wine Fight
Every year thousands of people descend onto the town of Haro, Spain, for a weekend full of carousing in honor of the country’s signature Spanish red wines that our widely produced throughout the surrounding La Rioja region.
Hotels and guesthouses book up well in advance of the Haro Wine Battle, so unless you made accommodation reservations a year or so in advance, camping in the nearby campgrounds seems to be the way to go. Stoke Travel sets up an awesome camping package that we tried out. (More details on that – and how to get unlimited free beer – later in this post.)
Upon arriving to the Stoke Travel campgrounds, people begin to make pleasantries, which after much beer and sangria, turns into full-blown revelry. That’s when it’s time to leave camp and take to the once-quaint Haro streets that have now turned into a huge party!
A big stage is set up in the main square, where a large concert commences. Meanwhile getting lost in the crowds that amass throughout the narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll find all sorts of merrymakers breaking out into impromptu concerts of their own. Trumpets and other brass instruments provide the notes for the hordes of people to belt out some apparently well-known Spanish songs, as everyone seems to sing along. It’s an awesome scene to mentally soak up while your liver simultaneously absorbs the extra alcohol intake.