Free wine for everyone and an old tradition of steep street racing make the festival of San Andres in Icod de los Vinos something very special. Local youth with small sledges race down the steepest streets in town while the new wine flows. Wow! What a fiesta!
The wineries of Icod de los Vinos are highlighting the fiesta of Saint Andrew (San Andrés) by introducing their new wines every year in the end of November. It is an old tradition accompanied by an even older one; the old method of transporting wood and barrels of wine down the steep hillsides to the sea on sledges. This method is developed into a hazardous game over the centuries. Small wooden sledges made mostly from heartwood waxed with resin are used by hundreds of locals to win fame by scoring the fastest speed on the steep streets of the town.
© Photos by Eldar Einarson
The main race starts at the top of the steepest sledding street, El Plano. We happen to live there and could follow the two-day wild event from our balcony
Most are using gloves and it is easy to understand why
The kids participate at an early age
Fathers and offsprings
Here we come!
Viva Icod de Los Vinos!
Still too young, but maybe next year?
A teenager on his way
No need for snow here; the speed gets very fast and the race ends in a pile of used car tires
The whole town is transformed into a party ground
The smaller kids are using the smaller streets
The fiesta is a big event in Tenerife and roasted chestnuts the main snack
People from all over the island participate and they need food
The streets become restaurants
One of the many local wineries preparing for the tasting event. The wine is free, but you need to bring a glass
If you don’t have a glass, you can buy one for a euro
New wine, new life
People gathering for the symbolic uncorking of the new wines. Free wine and food at Plaza de la Pila
A local orchestra plays old folk music
Growing up with music in the veins
The street sledding will go on for two days and nights
The street outside our house is packed with party people while the sledges run fast
Still a little space for the sledges; one in full speed right under me