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, 1st September
The weekend kicks off with the XXXVIII Vendimia Flamenco Festival from 10 pm at the Pablo Picasso primary school.
Saturday, 2nd September
In the afternoon from 7 pm there will be a Mass in honour of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores and a performance by the church choir in the Iglesia Santa Ana. Afterwards the Virgen will be borne from the church to the stage in Calle Mar where she will be presented with an offering of grapes, after which the competition for the best bunch of grapes takes place.
10.00 pm Music and dancing into the early hours in Manilva’s Calle Mar with the bands “Nuevas Ilusiones” and Trio “Venecia”.
Sunday, 3rd September
1 pm – Inauguration of the Day Feria with music, dancing and plenty of food and drink throughout the afternoon and evening. Later in the afternoon at around 5 pm there is a procession of riders through the streets, followed at around 7 pm by the ceremonial first treading of the grapes and a chance to sample the first ‘mosto’ grape juice of the season.
9 pm – Concert by the band “Mr Proper” who will perform some of the greatest hits from the Golden Age of Spanish Pop.
Monday, 4th September is a public holiday in Manilva.
Also there will be no Sunday market on September 3rd.
You can find some images recent Vendimia’s 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.