The capital of La Rioja celebrates the great week of San Mateo, or the Harvest Festival, from September 20 to 27
Despite not being the patron of Logroño (it is San Bernabé), San Mateo is the great event of the calendar of La Rioja. It is are also known as the Harvest Festival as they coincide with the collection of the grape, the main protagonist of the region.
The origin of the Fair
Logroño was recognized as a villa in the twelfth century and thus obtained the right to hold the annual fair, becoming an important point for merchants. Precisely San Mateo is the patron of the merchants because he was a tax collector, so those involved in the harvest professed him devotion. A Royal Decree of Isabel II in the mid-18th century set the fair on September 21, which until then was held at the beginning of the month. With the passage of time, the leisure part of the fair became the protagonist until it became the parties we know.
The current festivities
The ‘chupinazo’ (rocket) is the great beginning of an intense week full of parades, festivals, concerts, attractions, fireworks, tastings of the typical cuisine, ball…and a lot of Rioja wine! That will end with Burning of the Cuba (barrel where the wine remains). One of the key moments is the treading of the grapes on September 21, from which the First Vintage Wort is obtained and an offering is made to the patroness of the region, the Virgin of Valvanera.
Bulls in La Ribera 2019
Five bullfights make up this year’s poster, which will take place from September 21 to 25 and comes loaded with reasons not to miss anything: the expensive bullfighting of Diego Urdiales, the bullfighter of the land and winner of last year, present two afternoons; the winners of Madrid, Antonio Ferrera and Paco Ureña, winner in addition to the General Corridas of Bilbao; the sensations of the season, the winner of the April Fair and that of the Pamplona Bull Fair, Pablo Aguado and Cayetano also present; the youth that comes stomping, Juan Leal, ears in Madrid and Bilbao, Ginés Marín, ears in Madrid, Luis David, ears in Pamplona and Bilbao… And the art of horse-bullfighting with the Hermoso de Mendoza saga and the number one in France, Léa Vicens.