August 15th is a national holiday here in Spain to mark Assumption Day, but here in Cómpeta it is also Noche Del Vino! This festival is always held on 15th August and has its roots in the farewell made to the farm labourers who would head to the vineyards in the hills in August and would not return home until October when the harvest was safely gathered in. As a festival, it is now recognised as a Tourist Interest by the Provincial Council of Málaga.
The Plaza Almijara is filled with rows of chairs and a stage anticipating the events that will take place later in the evening, but at midday, you should make your way through picturesque streets of white-painted houses which are so typical of Andalusian villages. The white walls help to keep the interiors cool, but the houses are tall enough to create cooling shade down here at ground level and you’ll be grateful for it in August. along with the plants and flowers that hang from colourful balconies and doorstep pots it all looks stunning.
On this day the streets between Plaza Almijara and Plaza Vendimia are lined with stalls selling crafts, handmade soaps, locally sourced olive oils, beautifully patterned bowls made from local olive wood, and all sorts of other goodies. There’s a group face painting in one street, and a musician drums his way along adding to the excitement of the children who are running from stall to stall.
The noise from Plaza Vendimia starts to echo through the streets getting louder and louder as the excitement grows.
The crowd is buzzing with people, all greeting friends, raising a glass, enjoying the cool under the awnings and looking forward to an afternoon and evening filled with events and fun. Suddenly a huge cheer reaches the upper balconies as the first grapes of the season are carried head high over the crowd in two large baskets towards the pressing floor. Local musicians escort them with traditional tunes and everybody cranes their necks to watch the ceremony.
The fresh vibrant-green grapes are tipped onto the floor and are gleefully trodden into a squishy pulp, the first wine juice running off into a jug. A toddler is carried up to the pressing area, and is encouraged to tramp the grapes, the skins and juice sticking to his little toes, reminding me that this fiesta, whilst only 45 years old, is hopefully one that will be repeated through the years, reminding us all of the history of this area and the continuing importance of the wine industry here.
The music continues throughout the afternoon and evening with wine flowing freely, soaked up by free plates of migas, a traditional fried garlic and breadcrumb dish before traditional flamenco dancers and singers start performing in the late evening in the Plaza Almijara – kicking off a party that will carry on until 2 or 3 in the morning.
This is one of the most popular fiestas in Competa and one that was sorely missed last year, let’s hope it can be celebrated this year.
Come and enjoy this celebration with us and we’ll raise a glass to a continuing tradition!
If you would like to come and stay at Villa Andalucía for Noche del Vino choose your ROOM now.
If due to unforeseen circumstances you are unable to travel to Villa Andalucía remember we offer “Keep the Rate Change your Date”
And finally have a look at the blog below regarding Junta de la Andalucía’s Covid19 Travel Insurance that is free to tourists.