Italy is famous for its delicious food and there are lot of specialties that have become a symbol of the country all around the world (just think about Neapolitan pizza, for example). But there’s also something else that can not be easily forgotten: wine. And wine is usually celebrated with festivals or Sagre del vino, like Italians say.
Throughout the country you are guaranteed to find a festival every week of the year, but in many of the wine growing areas the festivals begin around September. Of course, there are many Wine Festivals throughout the country, each of them having its own special atmosphere and customs. Although the famous ones have attracted visitors over the years, there is a special delight to be found by discovering a small festival in a little village somewhere that helps illustrate the great love Italians have for their wine.
Here are the best Italian wine festivals that you don’t want to miss for any reason. Discover Italy’s wonderful Wine Festivals because, at the end, there’s always a good reason to celebrate the amazing Italian wine. Just be careful if you’re under the influence of alcohol, because there’s an old Latin expression that says “In vino veritas” (“in wine there is truth”)!
Vinitaly is probably the most famous Italian event dedicated to the world of wine. It is an international competition and exhibition that every April brings to Verona, city in northeast Italy, an average of 3,000 wines from all the countries, wineries from around the world and, of course, a lot of visitors.
Find more information here!
2)Bravio delle Botti (Siena)
Have you got August 28th, 2016 marked off on your calendar? If not, clear your schedule now! On that Sunday Bravio delle Botti is back. Bravio delle Botti is an annual race held in Montepulciano, a beautiful medieval town in Siena, Tuscany.
This is an ancient and folkloristic tradition that is held every last Sunday of August. In the town there are eight contrade (districts) and every contrada has its own team of two “barrel pushers” (spingitori), who have to roll a wine barrel, that weights 80 kg, across the towns streets, an uphill path almost 2 kilometers long. The race begins at Piazza Savonarola and continues all the way through the town until the Duomo in Piazza Grande. The competition is fierce: there is not time to rest along the way and if you’ve already been in Montepulciano, you surely know how steep the streets are!
Bravio delle Botti is not just a race, it’s about celebrating the local spirit with excellent traditional products, it is an unforgettable social moment, an occasion of exchange and interchange among people, both local people and tourists.
Here is the official website!
3)Taste itineraries in Chianti (Tuscany)
What do you think of if I say “Tuscan wine”? Of course your mind goes to the area of Chianti, the home of the best-known and most iconic Italian wines. If you love wine you’re definitely in the right place! The official Chianti wine zone, extending roughly over the two main city provinces of Florence and Siena, was officially demarcated by Cosimo de’ Medici III in the early 18th Century.
The district known as Chianti Classico is the heartland of the zone, the best area whose wines are widely available. The Chianti DOC title was created in 1967 and in 1984 was promoted to the highest level of Italian wine classification: DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). Chianti Classico is a very dry red wine and nowadays it is a source of world-class wines.
Chianti area offers many things to see: medieval villages, ancient castles, endless hectares of vineyards, stunning hills panoramas, traditional farms and agricultural holdings. You can also try a lot of local products and, of course, go for some wine tastings (and you have lots to choose from!). You can choose between enoteche (wine bars) and restaurants and combining wine with delicious food. If you’re looking for a great experience, I recommend you to visit winery and vineyards tasting directly producers’ wines.
For example, you can go to Fattoria Viticcio in Greve in Chianti or in Enoteca del Barone Ricasoli in Gaiole in Chianti, both upon booking. And to taste and buy from the largest collection in the world of Chianti Classico, just go in Casa del Chianti Classico in Radda in Chianti: wine tastings are going to start on the 22nd of April. You’d better write it down!
For those who like something a bit different, I suggest you to go in Pentecoste, a festival dedicated to wine held every May in Castellina in Chianti (Siena): the itinerary goes through a picturesque cave (Via delle Volte) and you are greeted with an empty glass… yes, you got it right, but no worries, you can fill it whenever you want and how many times you prefer during the walkway. What more could you ask for? Take it steady, though: you’ve got to make it home, remember!
4)Sagra dell’Uva in Marino (Rome)
Marino, a medieval town in the southeast of Rome, is famous for its white wine and for its Sagra dell’Uva (Grape Festival), which has been celebrated since 1924 every first Sunday in October. When you arrive in Marino on Grape Festival Day you will find a happy atmosphere: balconies are decorated with colorful flowers, statues have grapes in their mouths and fountains literally flow with wine.
That’s why this festival is very famous, because, for about one hour, some of the city’s fountains spill white wine instead of water.
Grapes and wine are distributed freely to the crowd, so it could be a good idea to take some plastic cups with you. The festival also includes street processions, tasting stands, wineries always open, cultural events with music and a firework show at night. You will find more information on Comune di Marino’s website.
5)Primavera del Prosecco (Treviso)
Primavera del Prosecco is considered one of the most important wine and food events in Veneto. From March to June, wine, food, art, culture and sports will meet in the Treviso foothills along a path of more than fifteen wine exhibitions. You can find all the events here.
As per tradition, there are a lot of big events involving the entire region and attracting travellers from abroad. During the Festival you can taste high-quality Italian wines as Prosecco DOC di Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, Cartizze, Verdiso, Refrontolo Passito DOC and Torchiato DOC from Fregona. These typical wines from Veneto are made by more four hundred wineries. So, you can take a tour of the vineries, enjoy tastings plus buy to take home.
6)Taurasi and Greco Wine Festivals (Campania)
In Campania, exactly in Avellino, there are two main festivals that celebrate wine: Taurasi Wine City (in August) and Tufo Greco Festival (in September). Taurasi and Greco are the most popular red and white wines in Campania.
In Tufo Greco Festival the streets, the bars and the main squares are so full of people that you can barely walk. On the other hand, in Taurasi Wine City you can even find an ice cream with wine flavor: you don’t have to choose anymore between wine and ice cream, you can have both only in one pot.
The main objective of these festivals is the development and the promotion of the territory through culture, countryside, and cuisine with wine as leitmotif. Here the grape harvest is commemorated with three days celebrations devoted to parades in the historic center, wine tastings, guided tours, stage shows, live music and local food, because this last plays a large part in the process as the wine itself. And if it’s all too much then sit, relax and drink some good wine of course.
7)Festa dell’Uva in Solopaca (Campania)
Another famous wine festival is in Solopaca, a small town in the province of Benevento. Calling all foodie and wine lovers, Festa dell’Uva (Wine Festival) will start in September and there you will find events, music, local products and all the best wines from Solopaca. Through the course of time, though, its principal characteristic has become its enormous, animated parade floats. On these floats you can see gigantic papier-mache caricatures of famous characters decorated with grapes. Such a fantastic show, don’t miss it!
Whether you are a red wine or a white wine drinker, in Italy there’s always an event for you! But don’t worry, you will not have to do all that drinking without any food! A real heaven on Earth, Italy is one of the world’s most productive agricultural countries and it is the state which is also a leader in food festivals: that’s because Italians not only excel at growing and preparing food, they love to celebrate it too!
You can attend events throughout the year that honour every kind of food: cheeses, truffles, chestnuts, fried pancakes, mushrooms, etc. But what is a meal without wine? So you have just to find the perfect mix, the right wine for the food pairing!
Written by: Isotta Pieraccini
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