Open Cellars 2018: The Italian Wine Experience

On May 26-27, Italian wine producers will open their cellars to the public. Wine lovers, save the date!

We are all used to enjoy a glass of good wine at dinner. However, sometimes we forget that, before being served at our table, that wine went on through different production stages. Wine is soil, sunlight and rain. But it is also hard work during harvest, barrels, waiting and satisfaction. A can’t miss opportunity to discover firsthand this world is the ‘Cantine Aperte‘ (Open Cellars) event, during which a large number of wineries across Italy will open their cellars to welcome wine lovers from all over the world. On this occasion, it will be possible to taste and buy wine directly from the farms in which it is made.

Organized by ‘Movimento Turismo del Vino’, a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to promote and support the Italian wine culture, this year’s ‘Cantine Aperte‘ will take place on May 26 and 27. Through the official website of the organization, it can be easy to find the cellars involved in the initiative, divided by regions. There is also an interesting section dedicated to possible itineraries, complete with all the information needed about wineries and road indications. In Italy, basically every region has its particular and unique oenological landscape. Therefore, you can choose to wander around Tuscany’s wide green fields, or to drink a glass while enjoying the sea breeze of Apulia or Cinque Terre.

The view from a vineyard in Cinque Terre, Liguria

Italy leader in wine production

Events such as ‘Cantine Aperte‘ and ‘Vinitaly‘ aim to support and enhance one of the most important sectors of the Italian economy. Indeed, data show that Italy plays a predominant role in the global industry, being the biggest wine producer in the world. From January to December 2017, 21,4 million hectolitres have been produced in the country, with year-over-year growth of 4 percent. In export, the Italian wine industry generated almost 6 billion euros in 2017 alone, an amount exceeded only by France, whose export has been approximately 9 billion.

Tuscany landscape

A wide variety

As in the case of dialects, cuisine, history and traditions, Italian wines are very different from one area to another. The Italian Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF), has recorded over 500 types of wine grapes on national territory, in parallel with a wider range of corresponding products. Although some regions are more specialized than others, wine culture is well-established all over the country and is firmly rooted since 800 BC, when the Greeks colonized Southern Italy. Moreover, regional cuisines are deeply influenced by the local wine varieties. For example, Fiorentina (a typical Tuscan steak) and Chianti are a perfect match that is famous worldwide!

Much more than just a beverage

For all these reasons, the opportunity to discover the Italian cellars takes on great significance. It means getting in touch with the roots of our culture and tasting a great source of inspiration, all thanks to the devoted activity of lots of passionate producers and workers. Galileo Galilei once wrote that ‘wine is sunlight held together by water’. And who knows about sunlight more than he did?