A few days ago, the city of Ica in Peru’s desert coastal region began the Vendimia Festival in celebration of the grape harvest. The fertile oases of Ica have been producing wine and pisco brandy since colonial times, and now’s the perfect time to visit them and to tour the region’s artisanal bodegas, enjoy tastings, participate in grape stompings, and watch local dances and parades.
The great float and dance parade takes place on the festival’s principal day, which is always the second Friday in March. This means that you’ll want to head to the Ica city center on March 13th to enjoy the show!
These are the participating bodegas for those of you who want to take part in their Grape Stomping route:
Wednesday, Mar 11th: Bodega Centauro
11:00am Pisco Sour welcome, traditional grape stomping to the rhythm of the
11:30am Guided visit, marinera dancing, afroperuvian dancing, folkloric negritos dance
12:00pm Lunch in honor of the Vendimia Queen
12:30pm Gifts for participants, traditional yunza where a tree is hung with gifts,
participants circle dance around the tree and some take turns trying to fell
the tree with an ax. Whoever knocks the tree down sets up next year’s
yunza, and when the tree falls everyone gathers to collect prizes, as with a
2:00pm Farewell with carnaval dances
Thursday, Mar 12th: Bodega turística “El Catador”
5:00pm Grape mazamorra pudding contest
6:00pm Chinguerito contest
8:00pm Grape stomping
Selection of the Queen of Chinguerito and the Queen of Confraternity
9:00pm Burning of the Castles and Fireworks Show
10:00pm Dinner, toast of honor
12:00am Party with Orquesta Los Gutiérrez
Friday, Mar 13th: Bodega Lazo
8:00am-8:00pm Sale of promotional wine and pisco products and of regional dishes.
12:00-3:00pm Passing of the Queen of Vendimia, Queen of Tourism, and the court in a
colonial carriage from Tres esquinas to the bodega. Guided visit and
7:00pm Traditional grape stomping and the washing of the feet of the queens.
Saturday, Mar 14th: Bodega Sotelo
1:00-3:00pm Pachamanca (Andean meal cooked in the earth) & fried pork chicharrón lunch
3:00-6:00pm Guided visit, tasting, greeting from the Vendimia Queen and her court
6:30 pm Traditional grape stomping and folkloric dances
9:00 pm – 3:00 am Dinner and dancing with Orquesta Generación
Enjoy the fun learning about the afroperuvian and winemaking culture of Ica during this year’s Vendimia Festival!