The annual tomato battle in Spain has become a national pastime and internationally popular event, but Majorca now has its own rival. Yesterday in Binissalem, over 800 youngsters took part in the Majorca-wine centre's final grape battle as part of the Vendimi fiesta. The army of 800 people went to war in the town armed with six tonnes of grapes which all the revellers had paid for. All of the people who took part in the grape war had to contribute towards the cost of the grapes 300'000 pesetas. The grapes had been bought from a local supermarket chain at a special price and the battlefield was a local field where the Mayor, Salvador Canoves, let the battle commence with shot from a starting pistol. Most of the village turned out to watch the spectacle and within minutes of volleys of grapes being thrown, the scene was transformed in to a mass of people, some standing and many on the floor, covered from head to toe in grapes. After the grape battle, which looks set to become an annual event following the success of yesterday's spectacle, a huge paella was shared by over 1'000 people. Those who fought in the grape war replenished their strength for free while spectators were charged a nominal sum. Binissalem in the centre of the Majorcan wine industry and away from yesterday's fun and games, Majorcan wines are gathering an international reputation with exports to European countries increasing every year and sales in the Balearics continually on the rise as the home grown market begins to fully appreciate the high quality of some of the local wines which can now be easily found in the growing number of specialist wine shops.
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