Night of Wine. Cómpeta. August. Unique Festival
This festival has been declared to be of Tourist Interest by the Provincial Council of Málaga.
Please check with the local Town Hall or Municipal Tourism Office for the festival date before planning any sightseeing activities.
Tourist claims or slogans are not always exact to reality and thus visiting the village is the only way the traveller can determine their truthfulness. In the case of Cómpeta, it is clear why the town is also called “Cornisa del Mediterráneo” (the Cornice of the Mediterranean Sea).
Indeed, the white town overlooks a landscape that, protected by the great heights of the Tejeda and Almijara mountain ranges, spreads out to the Mediterranean Sea across hilly lands covered with vines.
As in almost every town in the province of Málaga, Cómpeta celebrates one of the greatest days of the year by celebrating La Noche del Vino (The Night of Wine). On the 15th of August takes place this traditional party, which is when farm workers would say farewell to their families and leave for the grape harvest. That same night they would sing and dance Cómpeta fandangos in the Plaza de la Almijara square while drinking the fine wine produced in the municipality. Now the festival begins in the Plaza de la Vendimia square with the traditional treading of local grapes, accompanied by the music of the fandangos of Cómpeta and the verdiales (folk dancing and singing) groups from other localities. The traditional rural lunch is offered at midday. Finally, at night takes place what gave rise to the fiesta at first—in the Plaza de la Almijara square several official acts open a magical night of verdiales and fandangos, and everyone is welcome to try their local dishes (like migas) and sweet wine.
A full programme of festivities alternates throughout the day with two other side events: the Flamenco Song Festival and the Noche del Vino craft market with stalls of costume jewellery, handmade candles, and crystals and textiles installed on the Balcón del Mediterráneo.
This festival is derived from the worship of the Greek deity Bacus, god of wine and wine production.
Officially declared an Andalusian Festival of National Tourist Interest, it is held in August to coincide with the beginning of the grape-picking season.
It is also known as "La noche del vino" or “Wine Night”, as festivities continue well into the early hours on this evening of wine and flamenco.
The celebrations begin in the morning with regional music and dancing. One of the most eagerly-awaited moments is the grape treading, a ceremony during which a number of local residents wearing esparto slippers climb into a two-metre-square press to produce unfermented grape juice that can be drunk immediately. It should be pointed out that insects also enjoy drinking the juice, so the best policy is to just ignore them and enjoy yourself.
Throughout the day, thousands of litres of wine are shared out from a number of kegs dotted around the town centre which are manned by merry locals.
Visitors can also witness the transportation of the grapes to the press, with local men carrying baskets weighing up to 50 kilograms on their backs, placing a pillow on their necks to avoid injury.
Meanwhile, other locals prepare the traditional migas (a fried breadcrumb dish) in huge pots heated by log fires. This is accompanied with a summer salad made from cod, tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives and, of course, washed down with fine wine.
For those with greatest staying power, the festivities continue at night with flamenco performances that evoke memories of times gone by when the festival was known as "flamenco nights in celebration of the local wine ".