Under the slogan ‘Vendimia for Everyone’ the festivities usually take place the second week in March, after the main Grape Harvest Festival ends.
This conservative northern city has a smaller, more demure gay scene than Buenos Aires, but during this week-long celebration Mendoza lets its freak flag fly high and proud.
Gay Vendimia started as a joke according to Ricardo ‘Tito’ Bustos, (link in Spanish) founder and iconic owner of some of Mendoza’s most popular gay nightspots.
Now in its 18th year, the ‘Fiesta de la Vendimia Gay’ draws revelers from across the globe and hosts 5,000 spectators for the main event.
As in the mainstream festival, there are activities all week long and a campy Las Vegas style grand finale that includes a beauty contest, with the ‘queen’ in this case in drag.
Where to Stay
The staff speaks English and the modern-style fully-equipped suites are in the heart of downtown Mendoza. The group also runs an art gallery, Espacio Modlgliani which host events open to guests including exhibitions, live music and wine tastings.
Both options are a bargain too, with prices starting at US$80 per night. It’s important to book in advance during festival events. If these options are full, check out reviews on other Mendoza hotels and hostels.
To find out more or get tickets for the main event, get in touch with the Mendoza Tourism office or head straight to Mendoza’s local gay establishments and get swept up in the fun.
Gay Vendimia Festival Main Event
Saturday, March 7 2015: Angel Bustelo Auditorium, 11:00 p.m.
• Cost: AR$ $$, price depends on seating