Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wine Tour Italy – Open Cellars Memorial Day Weekend

I have found there are two times during the year when a tour on the Italian wine trail becomes more interesting. The harvest in October is a unique occasion to participate in the wine making process, from gathering the grapes to fermenting the wine. The second is during the spring when one can have the first tastes of last year’s production. Italy is all about tourism and the Wine Tourism Movement sponsors a nationwide tasting of the newly bottled wines. It is an opportunity to meet the producers, stay in some fantastic Agriturismo and get to know, first hand, about what is going to be available during the upcoming year.

Italy is expecting well over a million wine lovers and tourists to flock to some 1,000 vineyards taking part in this year's Open Cellars event. Now in its 15th year, Open Cellars has been a pioneer in developing Italy's wine tourism sector attracting over four million people to the Italian countryside. Aside from seeing where and how wine is made, and discovering the difference of tasting it at its source, Open Cellars offers visitors a chance to learn about traditions and culture linked to wine-making and country life.

Although wine is the chief focus, Open Cellars also offers tourists a chance to sample other farm products, especially olive oil, and feast on an array of regional foods and cuisine. The initiative, organised by the Wine Tourism Movement (MTV), originally began in Tuscany to then spread quickly to Italy's other wine-producing regions.

A number of special events have once again been organised in various Italian regions for the Open Cellars weekend. The region of Lombardy will reprise "dinners with winemakers" in a number of vineyards, historic homes and restaurants where visitors will be able to enjoy the region's best wines and foods while chatting with a local winemaker.

A cross-country bike rally has been organised in Friuli Venezia Giulia and the region will also offer Open Cellars 2007 souvenir glass wine goblets, the proceeds of which will be donated to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). In Emilia Romagna, wine tasting will be combined with sampling the region's varieties of bread, with each vineyard playing host to a local baker.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Genevieve said...

Great info! Some other wine events that might be of interest to your readers-

This year the biannual massive Slow Food festival takes place in Turin with an incredible amount of food and wine activities- http://www.slowfood.it/

Also of interest- Piemonte food and wine touring http://www.cellartours.com/

Enjoy, Genevieve

7:31 AM

 

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