Meet the producers on their home turf while tasting the best wines in Tuscany
Cantine Aperte is one of those rare tourist events in Tuscany when you will find just as many (if not more) Italian speaking participants as foreign partakers. Started in 1993, this national event held on the last weekend in May is the wine producer’s response to making their life's work, the passion that propels them into pursuing an enological career and its end result, more accessible to those curious enough to venture out and explore.
And honestly, who wouldn’t be up to touring the Italian country side and visiting wine cellars and tasting reds, whites, bubbles and more?
The "Cantine Aperte" weekend, translated as “Open Wine Cellars”, is the result of a vision
- to promote tourism in the wine sector,
- present local producers
- to educate the public on the various steps behind the creation of a bottle of wine.
The truth is not all wine is the same
It is this variety in wines that makes every sip you taste an opportunity to learn. Behind each harvest, each fermentation, each barrique and each label is a procedure, a belief and an end result that is unique to each vineyard.
This is what Cantine Aperte endeavors to share with its participants, and one that will undoubtedly help you enjoy your next glass...
It's not just about the wine: many of these vineyards also make olive oil, honey, cheese, salumi and delicious fruit compotes or preserves. This is the perfect opportunity to taste a bit of everything.
Cantine Aperte all year long
Why you should participate in Cantine Aperte
- a peek into the smaller wine producers (not just the highly commercialized companies) that make up the wine world in Tuscany;
- the chance to explore some of the less visited wineries
- it goes without saying, the pleasure of tasting some of Italy’s finest wines!
- the participating vineyards can be a bit spread out if you don't know the area. Plan well, so that you can get the most out of the day.
The MTV (I know, I thought it was a typo the first time I saw it but it actually stands for: Movimento Turismo Vino) is organized throughout the entire Italian peninsula and no reservation is needed to join Cantine Aperte on an adventure to see more of Italy.
» Check out the official website for the list of participating wineries in Tuscany.
There are vineyards in every region of Italy that open their doors to the public, but especially dear to me is Tuscany, where the initiative enters into every geographical corner, no matter where you're staying: Florence, Chianti, Lucca, Arezzo or Siena, it is possible to find a vineyard nearby to visit.
Of course, it is always possible to do wine tasting on your own, relying on the many organized vineyards that open daily and offer specialized tours, at any time of the year. Read our articles on some of the more popular areas to go wine tasting in Tuscany:
Check out the Calendar
Definitely plan on saving the date during your next vacation in Tuscany. Though there are several events during the year where the producers will allow the public to wander their wine cellars, perhaps the most popular is the last Sunday of May when the main "Cantine Aperte" usually takes place.
For Italians, this event not only signals the beginning of summer and weekends at the beach, but it is the perfect excuse for a "giro fuori porta" (translates to "a trip outside of the city"). The month of May offers a bit of everything: warm temps, long sunny days and the beauty of spring with the olive groves trimmed and the vineyards showing their first green leaves.
However, MTV has thought of everyone and you will find events throughout the year highlighting every step of wine production.
- In August, you'll also find "Calici di Stelle" on the 10th of August, a moment to enjoy the romantic display of falling stars of this period. Check out http://www.calicidistelle.org/progetto/?categoria=17 to see the events in Tuscany.
- In September/October, there is "Cantine Aperte in Vendemmia," the harvest of the grapes is just one of the many important phases in life of a bottle of wine.
- In November is "Cantine Aperte a San Martino" to toast the agricultural new year - generally the second week in November.
- In December in there is "Cantine Aperte a Natale", a Christmas celebration of wine and perfect for those looking for that perfect holiday gift - spread out over the month, check the website below for more details.
Good to Know: prices can vary, unlike the wine tasting event held by Arezzo which guarantees regular appointments and a fixed price.
Visit Movimento Turismo del Vino's website for more details on the wine events organized throughout Italy and the year.