Skip to content

Ica Harvest: this was our time at the important grape festival

“We always come with the family, it is an important part of the calendar, it marks a celebration that I have seen since I was born,” responds Mrs. Marta, who at 73 years old does not miss the Harvest celebration, when asked why she attends. to the event. Just like her, thousands of people (Peruvians and foreigners) visit the Ica International Harvest Festival every year, a meeting that celebrates the tradition of harvesting grapes and beginning to prepare them for the different delicacies prepared in the region: from cachina to wines or pisco. Advantage He traveled to see this celebration up close and we will tell you everything in this note.

Although the festival organized by the Provincial Municipality of Ica is in its 59th edition, the tradition of celebrating this moment in the calendar goes back hundreds of years. Currently, the motto of the 2024 edition is “To the rescue of tradition and identity”, so the agenda was loaded with different activities to publicize and highlight Ica’s culture, highlighting its tourist and agricultural attractions. , gastronomic and cultural.

Ica welcomed us with its characteristic warmth that invites us to cool off immediately. With only two days to experience the Harvest experience, we went to see our lodging, the Hacienda Hotel Macacona. It emerged as a space for events, but rooms were built to accommodate visitors passing through the city. Thus, a charming, cozy and perfect space was created to enjoy a cocktail, lunch or a moment by the main pool.

Although each winery has its own celebrations regarding the Harvest, the official festival takes place at the Campo Ferial. Here they meet for an agricultural fair, where products from Ica and also from other regions that have a presence in this province are found. Some of the delights we find are: a succulent natural honey, perfect for desserts, to enjoy in infusions or perhaps combined with other ingredients to create cane honey, a product of Virgen del Carmen beekeepers.

In the case of Ica products, we tasted those from the Cordova Winery, whose history goes back two generations. According to what they tell us, they are located in Nazca and among the products they offer we find three varieties of pisco, sweet and semi-dry wines, and pisco cream, one of the most recent products that combine flavors such as coffee, delicacy or strawberry with our distillate. flag. But, as some may suspect, the star was the cachina, a delicious grape juice fermented for 8 days that is drunk chilled and can be misleading. That is, since it is quite sweet, its alcohol level is not calculated and some fall for its charms.

We also discovered that in Ica they work with carob, which is why we found the classic and tasty local carob, perfect for cocktails or to accompany a dessert or fruit salad. Continuing with the sweet touch, we find alfajores and stuffed cakes. From Chincha, a curiosity arrived that captivated more than one of the visitors: pitahaya liquor. As its name indicates, it combines brandy with the curious fruit and they offer two presentations: the transparent one, made with the fruit with white pulp, and the fuchsia one, which is prepared with pulp of the same color. It is refreshing, medium sweet and with a delicious herbal taste.

The local sodas also caught our attention and how each province usually has its own version: we tried the Kola Tigrina and Soda Limón, a red soda and a transparent one, which have a quite particular and sweet flavor.

At the fair they have an entire section dedicated to charcoal or wood cooking, where the cancho al palo is one of the most ordered and enjoyed dishes, according to what we consulted with the “jaladores” of each stall, who are people in charge of convincing the diners to enjoy their proposal, narrating their menu, offering a comfortable table or inviting a small piece of meat, to crave even more.

Dance, stomp and celebration

The harvest has a long and busy calendar with more than 40 activities proposed by the Provincial Municipality of Ica. Some of our favorites were enjoying the Grand Semifinal of the Afro Dances Contest, organized by Estampas Peruanas.

Here, dancers from different generations meet, who seek to reach the grand final of this long-awaited competition. With colorful costumes, usually satin, beautiful and decorated hairstyles, impressive dance steps and great mastery of movement, the contestants (girls, teenagers, young people and older adults) surprise the jury and public with choreographies lasting one minute or a minute and a half. .

Another curious activity that we witnessed is a FIVI Cachina Contest, in which four professionals are jurors of different cachinas created by wineries in the region. Thus, they must analyze its color, smell and flavor, to discover the best of the vintage.

Next to it, one of the central activities is carried out in the winepress, the place or container where the grapes are crushed to obtain the must. Precisely, the Vendimia festival celebrates the harvest of grapes and their processing to begin the preparation of piscos, wines and other drinks that are usually found in this part of the country.

Cachina Competition, at the Ica 2024 Harvest.

The Great Grape Crush is an event that is replicated in the 6 districts of Ica and the central event, which took place on Friday, March 8, invites some of the queens of the season and local authorities to step on almost 3 thousand kilos of grape. Afterwards, the general public can join them to continue with this task, which, at the same time, is a party that can last up to 3 hours.

On Saturday, early in the morning, the regional Paso Horse Competition takes place at the Fairgrounds and all interested parties can marvel at the poise and elegance of these animals. From a young age, they are bred to have a very particular gait, which characterizes the Peruvian Paso Horses, which are a source of pride at an international level. In each category, from the youngest horses to the most experienced, they are given the opportunity to ride with a guide, in charge of accompanying the animal on its journey.

During the Harvest, wineries cannot be missing, which is why they have an area dedicated to these local companies that, in many cases, are also family-owned and have a long tradition. Thus, we find the Tacama winery as one of the main ones, but there are also small wineries with stories to know. Each one offers its products and visitors can taste them and purchase them at good prices. The ideal thing is to go for a walk and discover the different proposals to choose the flavors or presentations that you like the most.

The Ica Harvest is one of those events that should be visited at least once in a lifetime. And there are not enough words to describe the atmosphere of celebration and joy that is experienced at every moment. Whether it’s to eat delicious food, drink a good pisco, cachina or wine, or enjoy musical shows for the whole family, this party is one worth being a part of. Are you encouraged?

Source: Elcomercio

Share this article:
globalhappenings news.jpg
most popular