The Swedish Fire Festival is an event that Barren Ridge Vineyards hosts every year during the winter (generally in late January) to celebrate an otherwise dark time of the year. Inspired by the traditional midwinter festivals of Europe, the Swedish Fire Festival features Nordic cuisine paired with Barren Ridge wines, live music–and sometimes dancing, a Swiss alphorn performance, melted Raclette cheese, warm and spicy mulled red wine, and the lighting of Swedish fire torches along the vineyard’s driveway. Despite having the word “Swedish” in its name, the Swedish Fire Festival incorporates traditions from multiple European countries: Raclette is from the French and Swiss Alps; Scotland is famous for its fire festivals; mulled wine is a Swedish tradition; the alphorn originated as an instrument used by Swiss shepherds; and midwinter festivals have long played a role in many cultures to herald the coming of spring–from the Gaelic festival of Imbolc to Candlemas in Christianity to the American Groundhog Day.
The Swedish fire torch is a traditional firemaking technique probably invented by Swedish soldiers during the Thirty Years’ War of 1618 to 1648. For more information about Swedish fire torches, please click here.
Keep an eye on this page to stay up to date on the plans for Barren Ridge’s 2018 Swedish Fire Festival!