For wine connoisseurs, on the eve of San Andres Festival, the premier wines of the new season are set. Producers from vineyards free wines for sampling at the harbor of Puerto de la Cruz.
Every year, the festival was celebrated on November 28, 29 and 30 in Puerto de La Cruz. The festival Fiesta San Andres in recognition of St. Andrew is also referred to as a wine festival, as the fresh wine is tasted for this occasion. Even though it’s November, the weather is normally warm enough to perform this an outdoor event.
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz, the small point in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean is rich in story and has a great future leading of it as a popular tourist destination and gathering spot for different cultures.
Puerto de la Cruz is a touristic city distinct from any other. Its port experienced glory days as a trading port exporting sugar and wine to what was then a wealthy Europe. Its exceptional natural beauty and dramatic skies caught the attention of many scientists and botanists from the region and it soon changed itself into the ideal wellness retreat. The kindness and open-mindedness of the locals cemented the city as the progressive cultural capital of the Canary Islands.
Along with the Port of Puerto, various small stalls of the local bodegas are built. Visitors can take the chance to taste the young wines, which were only collected in September. Here visitors will get everything from white and red wine. Also, dry, half-dried, fruity and bitter wines are served. Tasters can get for a small extra charge of a small glass for tasting and can savor a short appetizer like tapas.
Puerto de la Cruz is a beautiful festival and holiday destination at any time of the year. The Old Town is cobbled, colorful and quaint, while at night the harbourside plazas offer music, dancing, and delicious Canarian cuisine.
Saint Andrew the Oenophile
Although the Scots can only place a call to the holy relics of Saint Andrew which allegedly arrived on Scottish soil, legend has it that San Andrés visited Tenerife during his lifetime. Local folklore says that, although he had planned to visit the island in order to lecture the gospel, his late arrival on 29 November matched with the wine harvest. Not wanting to offend the locals, San Andrés tasted their rich vinous produce, soon dropping into a satisfied swoon. Finding the prone saint, the town’s teenagers tied kettles and pots to his clothes so that he would be woken up each time he tried to turn over.
Arrastre Los Cacharros
This tradition may have its origins in a somewhat less fantastic explanation than that of the drunken San Andrés: that of the wine harvest. The fermented grape juice (known as the ‘must’) was left to rest in the wine barrel for ten days. After this, the liquid was drafted into a new barrel and the used barrels were rolled down the streets of the town to be rinsed in the sea – dousing them in salty water was the most efficient way to clean away the acids left behind by the wine. The town would listen out for the noisy clanging of the metal barrel rims against the cobbles of the streets, which would mean that the new wine crop was available, and that the festival could start.
The wine festival of San Andres is attended by well- known wine connoisseurs such as “El Monje”, “San Juan de Dios” or “Viña Norte”. Even inexperienced and not so well-known bodega “La Suertita” and “Beñesmen” take part in the wine fair (Feria del Vino). Bodegas represented there and are happy to reply inquiries about winegrowing and winemaking. The Bodegas are open for business during the whole festival. It’s a great chance to taste some vino del país (local wine) that a tourist might not be able to find anywhere else, along with a funnel of freshly roasted castañas (chestnuts), which are also collected at this time of the year.
The ambiance at the harbor is unique to San Andres, the aroma of roasted chestnuts is in the air and the wintertime is coming. San Andres is also very popular with youngsters and there is a unique tradition. The children assemble old tin cans and other things that make noise and tie them to a rope. Now, like crazed with this rattling string running through the streets and alleys.
To honor the saint’s arrival in the city, the citizens of Puerto de la Cruz commemorate the Fiesta de San Andrés in a rather interesting way. On the eve of the festival, youngsters take part in the Arrastre Los Cacharros (a ‘run with pots and pans’). Old tin cans, pots, pans – even oil drums, and exhaust pipes— are pulled along the street in the Plaza del Charco, creating the most
About Katarina Vancroft
Katarina Vancroft is a travel and destination blogger and content contributing editor. Her work has been featured in various online publications. As a contributor she writes about anything and everything under the Canarian sun at https://www.canaryislandsinfo.co.uk. She wants to inspire others how we could see the world as a haven by travelling.