Vendimia 2023: Queretaro Mexico Wine Harvest and Grape Season

Vendimia 2023: Queretaro Mexico Wine Harvest and Grape Season
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The Grape Harvest Season in Queretaro, Mexico

The grape harvest season, known as the "vendimia" in Spanish, is an exciting time in the state of Queretaro, Mexico. Located just north of Mexico City, Queretaro is an increasingly popular tourist destination, especially among wine lovers who want to experience the annual grape harvest festivals and celebrations.

When is Grape Harvest Season in Queretaro?

The 2023 grape harvest season in Queretaro typically takes place from late July through early October. However, the exact timing varies slightly each year depending on weather conditions and the specific grape varietals being grown. Some early ripening grape varieties may be picked starting in July, while late harvesting grapes may still be on the vines in October.

Most wineries and grape growers associations publish harvest calendars each year to announce the anticipated start and end dates for picking the different grape varietals in their area vineyards. Be sure to check local listings for the exact 2023 vendimia schedule if you plan to visit Queretaro wine country.

Festivals and Celebrations

The annual grape harvest is a big deal in Queretaro, with many wineries and towns hosting vibrant festivals and celebrations. These often include grape stomping activities, wine tastings, regional food and music, parades, performances, competitions, and more.

Some of the most popular vendimia festivals take place in the towns of Tequisquiapan, Ezequiel Montes, and Bernal. But smaller wine producers throughout Queretaro also hold special harvest celebrations. With over 100 wineries in the state, there are lots of lively harvest parties happening!

Getting Involved in the Grape Harvest

One of the best ways to experience the excitement of vendimia season is to actually get out in the vineyards and assist with the grape harvest. An increasing number of Queretaro wineries allow visitors to register for grape or wine experiences that align with the harvest schedule.

Depending on the package selected, you may have opportunities to help pick grapes at their peak of ripeness, ride in grape-filled buckets across the vineyards, stomp freshly picked grapes with your feet and legs to release the precious juice, participate in sorting and pressing activities, or assist winemakers as they meticulously craft the new vintage over barrels and tanks.

Play an active role in creating Queretaro's legendary wines - sign up for a harvest wine tour or activity! But act fast, as these sought-after grape harvest experiences tend to sell out quickly.

The Queretaro Wine Region

The state of Queretaro has a long history of wine production dating back over four centuries to the mid-1500s. Today, Mexico ranks among the top 35 wine producing countries globally. And Queretaro holds an instrumental role in that worldwide success.

Terroir and Grapes

The high altitude semi-desert climate of Queretaro provides excellent terroir for quality wine grape cultivation. With hot sunny days and cool evenings, the grapes mature over a long growing season while retaining bright acidity levels and layered flavor profiles.

A diversity of Vitis vinifera grape varietals thrive in the mineral-rich sandy clay and limestone soils. Top varietals under vine include Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay.

Wine Regions and Routes

Queretaro contains seven primary winemaking regions, most of which offer picturesque wine routes perfect for touring, tasting, sightseeing, dining and more. Top areas to explore include:

  • Valle de Queretaro - The heart of Queretaro wine country with over 20 wineries along the Ruta del Vino tour route.
  • Tequisquiapan - Home to Mexico's oldest vines and lively harvest festivals.
  • Ezequiel Montes - Quaint wine town that hosts the annual National Grape Harvest Queen pageant.
  • Colon - Charming historic area with several excellent producers to discover.
  • Jalpan de Serra - Tucked amidst stunning Sierra Gorda mountain landscapes.
  • Pinal de Amoles - Remote, emerging wine region on high plains abutting several quaint pueblos.
  • Arroyo Seco - Gorgeous valley filled with vineyards and wineries to explore by car, bike or horseback.

Rise of Boutique Wineries

In addition to several large, long established wineries, Queretaro has experienced a boom in small-production "boutique" wineries over the past decade. Many of these family-run ventures focus on single vineyard lots, organic or sustainable approaches, unique local varietals and innovative winemaking techniques.

The growth of craft wine producers has added depth and intrigue within the greater Queretaro wine industry. Be sure to sample some special boutique finds during your vendimia explorations!

Planning a Vendimia Wine Tour

If you love wine, adventure and cultural immersion, a visit to Queretaro's wine country during the lively harvest months of July through October makes for an unforgettable Mexican travel experience. Follow these tips for planning a fantastic vendimia tour adventure:

Map Out Wineries, Activities and Sights

Plot your route across one or more Queretaro wine trails, mixing in harvest festivals, wine-centric activities, historic attractions, natural landscapes and delicious regional cuisine. Focus on a specific area like Tequis or Colon for a localized taste or create a broader itinerary to showcase the diversity across Queretaro's winemaking valleys, routes and pueblos.

Arrange Transportation and Lodging

Depending on the scope of your travels, allow time to shuttle between tasting rooms, towns and other adventures. Hire a rental car, driver or ride share service to avoid concerns over drinking and driving. And research hacienda resorts, boutique hotels or charming inns within the wine regions that capture the cultural essence of your wine and harvest travels through Queretaro's beautiful countryside.

Sign Up for Special Harvest Experiences

Get your hands dirty (sometimes literally!) by reserving an authentic grape stomping, harvest or winemaking activity. Or deepen your wine knowledge via special harvest-themed tasting seminars, food pairings and winery tours. With so many great options, why simply sip when you can truly soak in the action and allure of vendimia season?

Prepare for Diverse Weather Conditions

Queretaro's high desert climate means warm sunny days can quickly give way to strong evening storms. Dress in layers and keep rain protection handy when adventuring along dusty vineyards and winding roads. Sun protection is also wise during long days spent outdoors amid unrelenting sunshine.

Proper footwear that can traverse muddy, slippery paths between vine rows while retaining traction is also a good idea if planning active harvest experiences. Adventure awaits - just prepare and pack accordingly!

FAQs

When does grape harvest season happen in Queretaro?

The 2023 grape harvest in Queretaro typically takes place from late July through early October. Check local listings for exact harvest schedules.

What grape varietals are grown in Queretaro?

Top Vitis vinifera grapes grown in Queretaro include Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay.

What are some top wine regions and routes in Queretaro?

Major wine touring areas include Valle de Queretaro, Tequisquiapan, Ezequiel Montes, Colon, Jalpan de Serra, Pinal de Amoles, and Arroyo Seco - all offering wineries, wine routes and landscapes to discover.

What types of harvest/wine experiences can I sign up for?

Many wineries offer grape harvesting, stomping grapes, winemaking seminars and tastings, food pairings, winery tours and more - great for immersive vendimia fun!

What clothing and gear should I pack for a harvest wine tour?

Dress in layers for fluctuating weather, bring rain protection and sunscreen, wear sturdy, traction footwear for possible muddy vineyard paths, and pack to suit the active adventures planned.

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