The 27th edition of Cantine Aperte, or Open Cellars, is taking place this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26. The estates that are a part of the Movimento Turismo del Vino Toscano open their doors all day, free of charge for visitors, in order to share their passion for wine with curious guests.
The idea is to promote Tuscan wine culture by sharing the art of grape growing and winemaking, wine and food pairings, and the art of drinking fine Tuscan wines with visitors. Hearing the owners personally explaining their beliefs about wine and its production will offer guests a unique perspective. During the weekend of Cantine Aperte, there will be special events ranging from exhibitions dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, “wine walks” in the vineyards, concerts, and even guided visits to monumental gardens or historic buildings.
The cellars are open throughout Tuscany in zones such as Arezzo, Florence, Grosseto, Livorno, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato, and Siena. Each offers different expressions of grape varieties and various wines, creating a plethora of choices for the wine-lover. Tuscany is well-known for growing Sangiovese in the hills of Chianti, which stretch throughout most of the region, producing different styles as the territory changes. Sangiovese is the champion grape of Chianti and Montalcino, with aromas and bouquets ranging from earthy to fruity with trademark spiciness and subtle balsamic notes.
The Chianti Classico territory historically includes Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, sections of Barberino Tavarnelle, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi and San Casciano in Val di Pesa. There are many Chianti Classico wineries participating in Cantine Aperte in Greve in Chianti and San Casciano in Val di Pesa. Here you can sample a Chianti Classico D.O.C.G. blend of at least 80% Sangiovese grapes with other local varieties–such as Canaiolo Nero or Colorino–in the oldest Chianti producing region. Another option for tasting Sangiovese is Brunello di Montalcino near Siena. Brunello is 100% Sangiovese D.O.C.G. and offers a different expression of the grape due to the climate and wine producing techniques used.
Super Tuscan red wines are yet another type to try, found primarily in Bolgheri in the region of Livorno along the coast. Super Tuscans are Italianized Bordeaux blends, named after their home in the French region, that include a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah, often alongside the Italian Sangiovese.
Although Tuscany is considered the land of reds, Siena is famous for producing a fresh white wine called Vernaccia di San Gimignano worth tasting. This delicious white is produced in and around the city of San Gimignano, and is considered to be one of Italy’s finest white wines. A glass of Vernaccia offers a dry, crisp, and floral white. Regardless of your preferences in wine, everyone is guaranteed to find something special during Cantine Aperte.
To find all the cellars participating in Cantine Aperte and more information on the special events, go to the Movimento Turismo del Vino webpage here. (cooper davis)