At the beginning of the Albariño wine festival, no one could imagine the importance and impact that this event would have on the growth of the town, and to the boost of the the wine sector. Cambados grew with the wine party and cambadeses feel identified with it. They owes too much to the wine and wine party, that is why, Cambados is now known, nationally and internationally, as the Town of Albariño.
The history of Albariño Wine Festival starts in the 50's, when at a meeting of friends, among them were Bernardino Quintanilla, Ernesto Zárate, Manuel Silva, José Rodiño e Francisco Fernández Aguiño and the first owner of a small vineyard in Tragove, challenged the landowner Zárate, owner of a large plantation in Padrenda, to check what was the best albariño. They decided to hold a competition in which each wine grower present their wine to prove who was the best one.
The first competition was private, in 1953 on the estate of Ángel Botana Gómez. Nine winemakers were presented and fifty albariñenses constituted the jury of the first "Cata Prima" (tasting premium), which selects the wines that deserve to qualify to overcome the rigors of Cata Postrera jury, where was only awarded José Rodiño Oubiña who, with a magnificent Albariño surprised his competitors. The following year was victorious Zárate, as in the following two events, always with Quintanilla in the second position.
During the early years, the festival was held at the home of Ángel Botana, stepson of Ramón Cabanillas. The festival welcomed more and more followers and Botana house became too small, so the celebration was moved first, to the gardens of the Ulloa Pazo, and later to the Bazán Pazo. Today is the National Parador Albariño, to settle permanently since 2005 in the gardens of the Torrado Pazo.
At the begining, the party coincided with the procession of A Pastora, but in the 60s, was moved to the first Sunday in August, To be sure to have a good weather.
The creation of the "Capítulo Serenísimo" (brotherhood that defends Albariño wine culture) in1969, represents an important image operation, much more important than it could be imagine at the begining.
This order allowed to named as "Cabaleiros" (with this appointment they become a sort of ambassador of Albariño Wine Festival), characters as important as the French president Charles de Gaulle or the Argentine leader Juan Domingo Perón.
The program is expanding and the sport begins to be important in the festival. Since 1970, we held the trophy Cyclist Albariño, other disciplines such as football, canoeing, basketball or traditional key would be incorporated into subsequent editions, an also tasting contest, the international folklore festival and later other activities such as technical seminars, the festival of Galician dance and chess tournament.
In 1992, the designer Adolfo Domínguez designed the capes of the "Capítulo Serenísimo", this caused a new impetus,and a great advertisement for the party thanks to the importance of the designer.
In the 90, also born Albariño Hymn, composed by Xosé Lois Foxo, director of the Royal Band of the Diputación of Ourense. Fans of Albariño, fill the streets with color during the big week, with their shirts, leaving their stamp sarcastic slogans about wine and party.
In 1996 Cambados entered in ACEVIN (Spanish Association of Wine Cities) and RECEVIN, its European equivalent. In the same year, opens the Wine Route, nowadays established as one of the most popular routes for those who come to our town.
The wine festival benefits Cambados in an extraordinary way,several figures from the administration, people of the world of culture, artists, intellectuals and journalists, comes, publicizing the Town and it also results in significant improvements to the Town of Albariño.
Highly relevant musical artists performed at the Festival of Abariño: Milladoiro, Raúl, Juan Perro, Ariel Roth, Gabinete Caligari, Carlos Núñez, Hevia, Sergio Dalma, King África, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Rosa, Chenoa y Bisbal, El Canto del Loco, Maná, Juanes, Diego Torres, Chayanne, Alejandro Sanz, Kate Ryan , David de María, Dover and Julio Iglesias, were here in recent years.
The first Sunday of August, takes place the Capítulo Serenísimo Parade, the parade of the guilds, and the parade of authorities, accompanied by folk groups.
The courtyard of the Pazo de Fefiñáns, hosts the solemn investiture ceremony of “Damas e Cabaleiros do Albariño”, “Xóvenes Albariñenses” “Albariñenses de Honra” and “Follas de Prata” (awards to women and men from different spheres of society, culture, sport etc. These awards converted them into ambassadors of the Albariño Wine Festival)
After this event, the stately procession goes to Pazo de Torrado, where it takes place, the Albariño Meal, with the reading of the opening speech, and where disclosed the name of the winning wines, an award that gives them international prestige.
According Plácido Castro wrote: "There is not a day throughout the year, as noted, in the purely human, such as the Albariño Wine Festival in Cambados"