Classic wine events to enjoy during the spectacular month of May
Tuscan tradition is rightfully said to be deeply rooted inside its land: culture and territory have gradually become an inseparable combination that has given life to some of the most renowned and excellent products of Tuscany. When one thinks about Tuscany, the first association that comes to mind is often wine and often after that Chianti.
To get to the point, May and wine are a perfect theme to use to tour Chianti and all of Tuscany, a chance to enjoy the rare beauty of the landscape with its enchanting rolling hills and rows of vineyards. There are two particular "dates" I recommend you mark on your calendar: The Chianti Exhibit in Montespertoli and Cantine Aperte ("Open Cellars" organized by the national Wine Tourism Mouvement).
Wine will obviously be the main protagonist of both events, which go from the start of its production process at harvest of the grapes all the way to bottling the new wine. However, all those typical products that have contributed to spreading the Made in Tuscany label across the world won’t act as a simple "side dish" to wine (to use a culinary expression). Tuscan tradition will be fully celebrated through various events, conferences, culinary workshops and tastings, all aimed to entertain and spread the centuries-long agricultural tradition of Tuscany, a magnificent testament we will leave one day to our children. Let’s take a look at these two dates to keep with the nectar of the Gods in Tuscany.
The Mostra del Chianti, the Chianti Exhibit, in Montespertoli
In its 59th year, the Chianti Exhibit in Montespertoli will take place between May 28 through June 5, 2016. The Mostra will be celebrating not just wine, but the entire territory which has been producing wine since ancient times.
This festival is considered by locals an important aspect of their cultural and folkloristic background seeing its long run. Many events have been scheduled to entertain both children and grown-ups alike with live street performances, concerts and theatre shows, but the one that probably stands out among all is the historical parade by the ‘900 Group. This is a faithful reenactment of daily scenes of the early ‘900’s, that accurately represent the social and historical backdrop of a society mostly devoted to agricultural activities, its habits and customs, once again faithfully reproduced, as well as the means of transport of the period - ancient bikes and oxcarts. The secret of the great success this one-of-a-kind parade achieves every year lies in the social group identity that ties all citizens together, where the sense of belonging to the same cultural background makes them feel responsible to keep handing down through the generations.
Getting back to the scheduled events, there will also be vintage car, motorcycle and farm tractors meet-ups. This festival is planned to not only entertain locals and visitors, it’s also a great occasion for all those working in the wine sector to meet other people and exchange technical information, while taking part in conventions and conferences aimed at keeping experts up to date on the cultivation, harvesting and production sectors.
This is not all! The Chianti Exhibit welcomes thousands of visitors every year from all over Italy, attracted by the delicious wine and food tastings offered throughout the entire festival. It becomes a banquet, where a wide selection of local products are carefully and originally combined with local Chianti wines to provide excellent meals.
For full program, visit the official website mostradelchianti.it
This year the festival has twined up with nearby Montelupo Fiorentino as it celebrates its own famous product, ceramics, over the 4 day weekend of June 2-5 in Cèramica.
Cantine Aperte - Open Cellars - in Italy
While the Chianti Exhibit will be taking place in a limited area of Tuscany, in Chianti's town of Montespertoli, Cantine Aperte - Open Cellars - will be across the entire Bel Paese, from North Italian white wines to the sunny Sicilian blood red ones.
Though this is a quite recent manifestation, being in its 24rd year, Cantine Aperte immediately gained international claim: its guided tours help discover and taste one of Tuscany's most excellent products and Chianti's as well. It draws thousands of visitors, attracted by the magic that surrounds wine cellars, the mysterious places where wine is conserved for a long time, and the beautiful setting of the vineyards.
All Tuscan and Italian wine cellars will be opening their doors to visitors and experts on Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29: those dark cellars will be unveiled to all those who await this occasion to discover the simple but rich locations, made of old customs and farm traditions that have been handed down throughout centuries, surviving and adapting to modern technological devices that reign over our societies.
This year the manifestation has selected as a theme the magical combination of wine and photography: there will also be a photo contest called Drink What you See inviting all participants to take pictures of wine glasses in an Italian landscape, with an urban view or a monument on the background. It will work to also promote Italy and its wine tourism movement.
What a chance to explore Tuscany and its authentic greatest of wonders! Wine is the perfect excuse to tour the Tuscan countryside, a drink that has created a strong Tuscan identity, represented by its secular tradition in hospitality, conviviality and love for the region.
For more details, check out the site for Movimento Turismo Vino.