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August is wine month in Guanajuato

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

August is wine month in Guanajuato, and it will be mainly celebrated in San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo over four weekends. More than 15,000 visitors are expected, which could generate gross revenue of 15 million pesos.

In San Miguel, the activities will be held at Rancho Toyán, located on the road to Querétaro. The events are the Fiesta de la Vendimia (Harvest Festival), which will feature a concert with Mexican actress and soprano Susana Zabaleta, guided tours of the vineyards and the cava and a concert of sacred music.

The Fiesta de la Vendimia will take place on Saturday, August 10, at 5pm. This tradition, according to Laura Chávez, public relations coordinator at Toyán, has its origins in ancient Greece and now has the purpose of thanking God for a good harvest. In Toyán, the ceremony will be celebrated with a shamanic ceremony so attendees can harmonize with nature and thank God “or whatever they believe in” for the harvest. The ceremony will take place in the “avenue of the fairies” with the vineyards as a backdrop. After the ceremony, a pre-Hispanic dance will be performed. A dance simulating stomping of the grapes will also be done.

In the main plazas of the ranch the grape stomping will be held, and all those who want to try it will be welcome. Those who prefer dance and music will be able to enjoy a flamenco group in the kiosks. There will also be a refreshment bar featuring cheeses, oils, breads and cocktails mixed with wine.

At 8pm, the amphitheater of Toyán will be inaugurated by state authorities and Susana Zabaleta, who was appointed Ambassador of Guanajuato Wine in 2012, will give a concert. After the concert, those with VIP tickets will enjoy a five-course dinner prepared by chefs such as Víctor Palma from Rosewood, Rurik Salazar, David from MX restaurant, Carlos Arroyo from Doña Urraca, the kitchen team from Casa de Aves and sommelier Juan José Gómez.

The price of regular tickets is 800 pesos, and VIP tickets sell for 1,800 pesos, which includes preferential seating for the concert and the gala dinner. The tickets are on sale at Genecel, located at Plaza Primavera, Ticket Master and Rancho Toyán. Call 152-7400 for more information.

Sacred music concert

In addition, every Saturday of the month at 11am there will be guided tours through the vineyards and cava of Toyán, at a cost of 400 pesos.

On August 23, at 7pm, the chorus from the Universidad de Guanajuato will offer a concert of sacred music, including Gregorian chant. It will take place in the cava, 14 meters underground. The number of seats has been limited to 80. The price is 400 pesos and the tickets are on sale in the previously mentioned locations.

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