The original name of Saint Martin of Trevejo was Saint Martin Dos Vinos (Saint Martin of the Wine). This was recorded on a map that was published in 1642 and a reproduction of this map can be seen, decorating the walls of the town house of this town. The official distiller of King Felipe II of Spain was originally from this town; he was a famous oenologist and his name was Diego Santiago. He is probably one of the reasons this region is well known in the world of the wine. The phylloxera in the XVIII century, a plant disease, ended the grape- growing scenario at San Martin de Trevejo, also in most of Europe. However, it was not able to destroy the love of the local people for their traditions.
San Martin de Trevejo is a town known for a combination of historical and artistic legacies at the Sierra de Gata. This is a Village with a little less than 1000 inhabitants, situated in the province of Caceres, Extremadura. A region in Spain, which is about two hours west of Madrid, close to neighboring Portugal. They practice a linguistic variety of the so-called Fala language, different from both Spanish and Portuguese, but more similar to the second. This language is known to have three variations next to the Fala, which are the Lagarteiro and the Valverdeiro. They celebrate every 11th of November a popular festivity that is one of the most fun- filled festivities in this region. The quiet, dark and motley wine cellars open their doors to the public, while the happiness continues to increase ending with chorus groups singing, a cappella, along the streets of the town.
The day of Saint Martiño is the one selected to taste the wines produced during the year. Originally, it was a local festivity that has attracted numerous visitors, and people say that today there are more gents that quarts of wine. Thus to show of the kindness of the local people, the Town House has adopted a popular initiative and starting in 2015 they recreate the traditional grape harvest at the plaza of the Comendador, with the involvement of the whole community. This is the first time they will use the cellar bellow the bell tower, that has been housing the wine that will be distributed during this Saint’s festivity, since the month of September.
This little town, cradle of outstanding men and of this strange language is probably one of the nicest in the region of Sierra de Gata, at the western corner of the north of Extremadura. It has been declared a place of historic relevance. And they refresh during the whole of the year, their bilingual streets, their church dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, which is worth a visit, since it has two beautiful altars made by the well-known artist Divino Morales. Also, worth visiting during this season because of the turning of the trees, which can be appreciated at the largest privately owned chestnut grove forest in this region.
Original article by Sara Fontán
Translated by Susana Windt
Published in October, 2015