‘Open Cellars’ Wine Days 2021 Edition: a Return to Tuscany

Carpineto Estate, Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Once again, the public is welcome this year to discover the wineries of Tuscany at “Open Cellars” (Cantine Aperte).  Eager to resume their trade in wines known around the world, vintners offer visitors a wide range of experiences based on Italy’s ancient winemaking tradition.  On the weekend of June 19 and 20, wine lovers can experience the best-known varieties of Chianti, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Brunello di Montalcino as well as lesser-known varieties.

More than 50 estates offer visits to cellars, walks in the vineyards, live music, tours of villas and, of course, tastings comprising some of the activities planned.  Many offer platters with an assortment of appetizers and local specialties.  

As this year we commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, one theme of Open Cellars honors the great Tuscan poet, writer, linguist and philosopher.  I Vicini Vineyard, set overlooking Lake Trasimeno in the province of Arezzo, offers visitors a tour through their vineyards accompanied by reading of passages from the Divine Comedy.  On the Tuscan coast Podere da Regola plans guided tours on an upward path from Inferno (Hell) to Dante’s Paradise.  Reservations can be made at info@ivicinicortona.it or by calling 0575.678507.

Near the ancient walled town of Monteriggioni, Fattoria Lornano beckons lovers of white wine to “leave all hope you who enter” and tour the winery and farmhouse bed-and-breakfast.

Bookings can be made at: lornano@lornano.it or by calling 0577.309059.

A former monastery deep in the Chianti hills, Badia a Coltibuono, hosts a visit to their cellars with tastings on Sunday, June 20.  Charges are €5 for the visit or €7 including tastings.  Please call for reservations at 0577.749479.

Nestled in the hills known for Brunello di Montalcino the Casato Prime Donne commands stunning views of the quintessential Chianti countryside.  On Saturday, June 19 at 4 pm they host “The Brunello Experience,” with a walk in the organic vineyards of Sangiovese and an introduction to the production secrets of Brunello.  The event costs €18 per person by reservation only by contacting casato@cinellicolombini.it or calling 0577.849421.

The Castello di Querceto, in the hamlet of Lucolena near Panzano, welcomes visitors from 11 am to 6 pm for guided visits and free tastings on June 19 and 20.  On this day dedicated to Dante, the tastings can be accompanied by gastronomic menus of local products dedicated to the Divine Comedy.  Guests may also visit the botanical gardens, containing more than 200 species of plants and trees.  Reservations are mandatory at:  Tel. 055.85921 or agriturismo@castellodiquerceto.it

Close to Florence in the hills of Fiesole, the Fattoria di Poggiopiano offers a unique experience of visits on Saturday at 4 pm and Sunday at 5:30 pm.  A tour of the old vineyards planted with Sangiovese grapes and the cellar followed by a guided tasting of four wines, a Rosato di Toscana (rosé), a Bianco di Toscana (white), a Rosso di Toscana (red) and a 2016 Chianti Superiore.  Cost is €20 per person by reservation only at:   338.434.2483 or Info@poggiopiano.it

The Giuseppe Marini  winemakers in Pistoia host walks through the vineyards, cellar visits and an introduction to the production of Vin Santo, which in the Tuscan tradition symbolizes hospitality and friendship.  The tour also includes a visit to the olive press where Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive oil is created.  Afterwards, wine lovers can taste all the company’s wines paired with mixed bruschetta, cold cuts and cheeses.  The visit ends with a sample of Vin Santo accompanied by biscottini, small fragrant cookies, enriched with the winery’s oil and Vin Santo.

The visits occur Saturday at 10 am to 1 pm and 3 to 6:30 pm and Sunday at 3 to 6:30 pm.  Reservations are required by calling 057.345.1162 or writing to info@marinifarm.it

In the province of Siena, Carpineto is offering wine tastings, walks and picnics on the estate (pictured).

These are just a few of the numerous offerings on Open Cellars weekend organized by Movimento Turismo del Vino.  Please keep in mind that all appointments require advance reservations.  For complete information see website:  www.movimentoturismovino.it and the informative article at www.agendaonline.it/cantine-aperte-toscana-2021/ (rita kungel & martina palmiero)