Sanlúcar de Barrameda is known as a summer destination by Spaniards and tourists alike, but one of my favorite events of the year happens in autumn—the Ruta del Mosto.
What is the Ruta de Mosto?
Starting in early November Sanlúcar’s Barrio Alto (uptown) is full of locals, live music, and wine! Mosto is a local wine that is prepared as soon as the cold weather arrives. Back in 2011 when I first moved to Sanlúcar the official ruta de mosto (mosto route) was organized by the city. There was a map with participating establishments serving mosto and you could get a stamp at each stop on along the route. In 2015 the ruta was discontinued—but the locals still keep up the tradition every year. There’s no map or stamps, but there’s still cheap wine and free tapas for all!
How does it work?
You’ll find several restaurants and bars with “mosto” signs out front. You can order a glass of mosto (for around €1) or a pitcher (€4 – €6). When you order a pitcher you normally get a fee tapa too. You can go from bar to bar drinking mosto and eating tapas all afternoon. My friends and I usually head to Barrio Alto around 2pm and start the ruta at lunchtime. The night usually ends with everyone gathering at one or two bodegas (wineries) in Barrio Alto, listening to live flamenco or Zambomba (Christmas flamenco) and lots of dancing!
The ruta is a unique and authentic experience. Many of the bars make their own mosto and the only people you’ll see along the way are Sanluqueños (locals). Most of the spots on the ruta are tucked away within the little streets of Barrio Alto, untouched by tourism; that’s what makes the whole experience so special…the Ruta de Mosto is not something everyone gets to experience when they come to Spain. Plus it encompasses a lot of the Andalucian characteristics I love; good cheap wine, flamenco music, and an afternoon in the company of friends.