Every year, on the first weekend in September, Manilva celebrates its annual grape harvest. This festival was founded in the early ’60s and has become an important part of the local calendar, drawing in visitors from all across the region.
Friday September 4
Flamenco aficionados can enjoy and evening of music and song with some of the best flamenco singers and musicians with the traditional annual Flamenco Festival kicking off Manilva’s Vendimia celebrations.
The Festival will be held at the Pablo Picasso School from 10 pm and is presented by Manilva’s Flamenco association in collaboration with Manilva Town Hall’s Cultural Department.
Saturday September 5
Activities begin on Saturday morning with the competition at the Manilva Wine Centre to find the best bunch of grapes. At seven in the afternoon there is a Holy Mass after which the Virgin will be borne through the streets accompanied by the Manilva Town Band to the Plaza where she will receive an offering of grapes. After the offering the winners of the best bunch of grapes will receive their prizes.
Finally there will be an evening of live music and dancing with the band ‘Latidos’.
Sunday September 6
Sunday is the big day with the party starting at 1 pm with live music from the bands ‘Latidos’ and ‘Malakai’. During the afternoon there will be plenty of opportunity to sample the local wine.
At 4 pm there will be a performance by the band ‘Mala Manera’.
At 5 pm the local riding club will parade along Calle Mar-
At 7 pm there will be the ceremonial first treading of the grapes, after which the party continues into the early hours of the morning.
Monday September 7 is a public holiday in Manilva.
You can find some images of a previous Vendimia here: Manilva Vendimia 2013
Along with the Axarquia and the Montes de Malaga areas, Manilva is an important centre for the production of the Moscatel grape which, when dried on the local hillsides, provides the world famous ‘Pasas de Malaga’, the Malaga raisin, as well as a range of wines from dry to the sweet ‘Malaga’ wine.
There have been vineyards in Manilva since the 16th Century but the industry enjoyed its heyday during the 17th and 18th centuries when Manilva was a major producer of wines and brandies.
Unfortunately the local vineyards saw a decline during the 19th century which culminated in the destruction of the vines by the Phylloxera epidemic which decimated vineyards throughout Europe in the 1860s.
It wasn’t until after the Spanish Civil War that Manilva took up grape growing as an important economic activity centred on the sweet Moscatel grape which is ideally suited to Manilva’s climate, situation and soil type.