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A previous Noche del Vino in Cómpeta. SUR
Fifty years of Cómpeta's summer wine fiesta
Culture

Fifty years of Cómpeta's summer wine fiesta

The Axarquía village holds its famous festival every 15 August to celebrate the local harvest

Alekk M. Saanders

Cómpeta

Monday, 14 August 2023

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Cómpeta's wine festival, held on the feast day of the Assumption of Mary, 15 August, was originally a farewell to the farmers who were leaving the following day to begin the grape harvest.

The idea for the fiesta devoted to wine, vines and grapes apparently came up 50 years ago. The story goes that in 1973, local resident Aurelio Fernández Navas said that he would pay for all the wine that local people could drink that night in the village. Treating the people to local wine eventually became a beloved annual tradition in the town, gaining international fame.

Cómpeta's wine itself, made from the muscatel grape variety, is also internationally known. It is referred to as 'vino de terreno' (terroir wine). In this case, the 'terroir' contributing to this wine is made up of slate terraces and scrubland. Grapes are pressed, fermented, racked and bottled using completely natural and traditional methods.

The highlight of this celebration of wine is a demonstration of traditional grape-treading

Unsurprisingly, the highlight of the event is the demonstration of grape-treading - a traditional method of wine-making called 'la pisa' in Spanish.

The main reason for crushing grapes with the feet is to release the juice. This is done by breaking open the grape skin and allowing the juice to flow out. After that, what's left of the grapes is collected to be put in a press to obtain a second juice.

Monuments and Cómpeta and 'arriera' cod salad. A.M.S.
Imagen principal - Monuments and Cómpeta and 'arriera' cod salad.
Imagen secundaria 1 - Monuments and Cómpeta and 'arriera' cod salad.
Imagen secundaria 2 - Monuments and Cómpeta and 'arriera' cod salad.

The 'pisa tradicional' will take place on Plaza de la Vendimia on 15 August at 12.30pm.

The locals, dressed in traditional grape harvesting costumes, will tread the grapes accompanied by the Pisador de Honor, a title given to a different well-known person every year. This time the 'honorary grape-treader' is Manuel Moreno Maya, known artistically as 'El Pele'. By coincidence, this flamenco singer from Cordoba released his first album also in 1973 and eventually gained fame both in Spain and abroad.

The Noche del Vino always includes traditional dance and music such as fandangos and Verdiales

The Noche del Vino also includes live music and dance performances, including traditional fandangos and local Verdiales. Members of the public are invited to sample the muscatel grape wine produced in the area as well as 'migas' (a dish traditionally made from breadcrumbs), 'arriera' cod salad (ensalada arriera de bacalao) and grapes.

Over the last 50 years, Cómpeta's Noche del Vino has become an important part of the cultural agenda of the town and the district of the Axarquia.

It is considered a tribute to the men and women who work in the fields during the harvest and, in addition, a tribute to a typical product of Malaga province - Vino de Cómpeta.

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