Argentina’s Grape Harvest Festival in March

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illinois_chicago_gezaRemember, the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. That’s why the annual Grape Harvest Festival takes place mostly in March in Mendoza, Argentina. Core dates this year are March 1 through 11, 2014.

It’s said to be the country’s biggest wine party, bringing together everyone from the field workers to the vineyard owners and wine-lovers from around the world.

The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia is a celebration of wine and the winemaking industry that begins with the Benediction of the fruit on the last Sunday of February.

Although its roots are in the 17th century, the festival wasn’t formalized until 1936. These days, there’s dancing, fireworks and all sorts of fanfare in addition to wine-centric events.

One of the tour companies taking visitors to the Fiesta is Mendoza Wine Tours and Travel.

The Mendoza province in the Cuyo region of Argentina is responsible for 70 percent of the country’s wine production. Its best known varietal is Malbec, but don’t overlook the Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

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