Hundreds of Uruguayans celebrated today what would have been the 200th birthday of the main driver of viticulture in Uruguay and introducer of the tannat strain, the French-French Pascual Harriague, in Salto (west of the country).
The salteños celebrated from the old Harriague winery, on the banks of the Uruguay River, the anniversary of the birth of this European businessman with tastings of wine and olive oil, as well as traditional dances.
The festivities are part of the Ardo Festa or Grape and Olive Festival that began last Monday and will continue until this Sunday, informed one of the organizers of the event, Marcela Castel.
"The Basque in our land, in Salto, is very traditionalist, preserving the customs of yesteryear that he has received from generation to generation, that is, the fraternity he has (Salto) and how they are called today in this Feast of the Grapes and Wine, "said the Uruguayan.
For Castel, one of the most emotional activities of this festival was the creation of a Harriague commemorative stamp, although he also highlighted the various conferences that were developed to explain the impulse that this man gave to the Salta industry during the 19th century.
He also highlighted the delivery by the Intendencia de Salto of the "title deeds" of the former cellar to the Basque Center of Salto.
"We are taking a first step which is to establish a cultural space (…) what we are most interested in is to put this historic site in circulation and make it see all over the world," the center's president, Luis Zalduán, told Efe.
In this sense, the expert pointed out that Harriague is the father of viticulture in Uruguay.
"He is the introducer of the tannat variety, he crossed from our neighbor Concordia, the Argentine city, and brought the vines, implanted them here and achieved some wonderful results that make him make a winery like this to be able to process the grape. of Uruguay's wine, "he noted.
Zalduán, who wore a T-shirt with the Basque flag, said that several studies indicate that 50% of the population of Salta "has some Basque influence"
"Not only has Pascual Harriague been important, but there have been many pioneers who have marked the history of jumping as Saturnino Ribes, who was an entrepreneur who had one of the largest shipyards in America at the time," he concluded.