This year I was lucky enough to catch the grande finale of Vindimas 2011 in Palmela. Vindimas is the wine festival that happens every year in Palmela. The wine that is featured is called Moscatel and it is a very sweet wine. It reminds me of desert wine, something that you would eat after a meal with a sweet custard or something.
For Vindimas, Palmela transforms from a quaint suburban town outside of Lisbon to a glitzy, lit-up, neon glowing festival atmosphere soaked in Moscatel. There were so many people packing the streets of downtown Palmela it was delirious. All the other times I’ve been to Palmela the streets have been relatively empty and quiet, but I guess everyone and their moms came out for Vindimas 2011.
Not only was Moscatel readily available but there was also numerous food stands offering a selection of delectable Portuguese sausages and chorizos. I think this guy above has some blood sausages grilling on his range.
I really could not believe how many light fixtures they put up for this event. It’s like Christmas, really.
They even had live music…
One of the traditions at Vindimas is to see the castle of Palmela “burning”. In reality, they have these red lights and mist that rise up from the castle. From afar it gives off the impression that the castle is on fire. I guess if you are drunk off of Moscatel it’s pretty convincing. All in all, it’s quite a spectacle.
So my friends and I settled on this hill with our bottles of Moscatel and waited for the fireworks. Usually, the fireworks are above the castle (top left center in this picture), but for some reason the fireworks were behind us. It was kind of difficult to watch from our current position. We had to balance ourselves and lean uphill to stand and watch the fireworks. Kind of difficult when you’ve had a lot of Moscatel.
After the fireworks we stumbled back to Sara’s house in Palmela and passed out. I woke up the next morning with one of the worst hangovers ever. I guess it’s because of all the sugar in Moscatel. Getting drunk off of what is essentially dessert wine is never a good idea. However, once in a year for Vindimas 2011 is ok.
Have you been to Vindimas or visited Palmela? Comment below!