the finest trip – Cómpeta
Cómpeta – this is history turned to bright white stone.
The name of this small yet historically significant village at the edge of the Sierra de Almijara is not (for a change, you’d think) derived from the Moorish but instead from Latin: for the ancient Romans, ‘Compita’ was a junction or some kind of meeting point where they conducted business or threw parties.
Even though archeological clues prove that the first settlers were already around in the Neolithic Age, the village was only founded in the middle of the 15th century. Turbulent times in Spain – the final throes of the Reconquista that found its official end with the conquest of Granada by the catholic kings in 1492. Religion and power. A broad and all too often bloody field.
Nonetheless: what remains are villages such as Cómpeta, with their layers of traces, those cultural junctions so to speak. And precisely these junctions, these ‘Com-pitas’, make them so interesting.
Cómpeta is also the history of wine
But the history of Cómpeta is also the history of wine: following the tragic vine pest at the end of the 19th century, they planted more resistant varieties at the beginning of the 20th century – and these have meant that Cómpeta is famous for its excellent Axarquia wine to this day. It is hardly surprising that the ‘Noche del Vino’ is celebrated every year on 15 August, the night of the wine, during which the village presents itself from its most traditional and beautiful side. Like so many other nights, this particular night has a nice story to tell: since time immemorial, the workers were sent off to the vineyards in mid-August for the harvest sea-son – and they did not return until October. A long time ago, a certain Aurelio from Cómpeta had the idea to invite all the village’s inhabitants to have as much wine as they wan-ted– or could drink – on their last night before the beginning of the harvest season.
And the truth is that more than 2,500 litres were drunk last year… In this spirit: chin chin and salud!