This vineyard was planted by participating folk dance groups from nine nations as part of the framework of the 12th international Folk-Dance-Festival 2009 in Winningen. The idea of planting a friendship vineyard, crossing the language borders, originates in Zacatecas in Central Mexico...
Background: As enthusiastic members of the Winningen Folkdance Group (numerous trips and appearances to represent the Federal Republic of Germany) (www.tanzgruppe.winningen.de) it is always moving for my wife and I to experience the hospitality and the hearty welcome which we receive in many foreign countries. In 2004 the Winningen Folkdance Group visited a major Folk festival at Zacatecas (Festival Zacatecas del Folclor International) a city located in north central Mexico at an altitude of 2,440 m (8,005 ft). During this visit we were inspired by the idea of a Friendship-Vineyard. Zacatecas reached the height of its prosperity at the time when the silver mines were booming. To support the tunnels and the Silver mining all the surrounding forests were cut down mercilessly. It took only few decades for the erosion to wash away the humus-rich soil, leaving a barren landscape with a semi-desert climate with cacti vegetation in the municipal area of Zacatecas.
During the festival, a successful agenda item was a large-scale reforestation campaign: Each participating folk group (which came from all over the world) was allocated a plot of land on a huge slope. With the help of Pioneers and to the sound of Mariachis, who played music incessantly at a huge monument on the hilltop, the "Forest of Friendship" was planted. With great enthusiasm and strong support from schools and the people of Zacatecas several tens of thousands of trees were planted. But besides that, the friendliness and enthusiasm of the Mexicans was almost overwhelming. Sometime between my 6th and 8th tree the idea occurred to me to plant a Friendship-Vineyard at the next Folk Dance Festival in Winningen; a vineyard in which each row of vines were planted and named by a different nation.
Each autumn, the grapes are united on the press and filled into barrels to perform a dance of playful aromas. During spring, after the impetuous youth, the wine is bottled and is given its own label. The sale of this wine will contribute to fund future folklore festivals in Winningen. But from each vintage some of the bottles will be sent to the participating dance groups who planted the vineyard. They will represent a permanent ambassador of the friendly ties to many international folk groups and ensures them of the hospitality of the Winningen people.
Post scriptum:To our surprise, all the vines took root! The first yield will probably be available in 2012. It will be marketed with the logo of the festival under the name of folklore... So be patient!
Bildergalerie Friendship Vineyard