Cantine Aperte is a wine event that has taken place on the last Sunday in May across Italy every year for the past 20 years and involves interested wineries opening up their doors to the public for wine tasting. According to the Movimento Turismo Del Vino, the official website, it is one of the most important wine events of the year, and last year brought together over 1,000 wineries with over 1 million interested folks who visited these cantinas to taste the various wines. This event took place on May 27th this year and here in Umbria we had a vast selection of cantinas that opened their doors to the public for tastings. We planned to visit a few of the cantine on Sunday with our friends Mark and Giselle Stafford who own a successful wine tour company here in Umbria called Gusto Wine Tours.We’ve been lucky enough to take one of Gusto’s tours ourselves, as have many of our farmhouse guests, and it is a thoroughly enjoyable day for those who love wine tasting.
To celebrate this event, many of the wineries are now hosting dinners on the Saturday night before Cantine Aperte, where they pair local food specialties with wines from their own cellars. We’ve taken part in this festive event the past few years and this year we decided to book our dinner at Peppucci Cantina which is located not too far from our house. The cantina itself is a relatively new one, built on a hill with lovely views of the countryside in all directions (See top photo taken at Cantina Peppucci!). We actually visited cantina Peppucci for the first time on our wine tour with Mark of Gusto wines, although my husband has been a big fan of their Alto Ego wine for a while. The wine dinner was prepared by Giuseppe, chef at Villa Selva here in Umbria who we’ve heard very good things about, but never had a chance to meet and the host of the event was Filippo, the Peppucci son who runs the cantina along with his sister. The dinner at Peppucci was lovely, held in a large room over the cantina, and they had a very good turnout for their pre Cantine Aperte dinner. It was a delicious start to our wine tasting weekend!
The Menu – A Cena col Vinaiolo
Antipasto Tradizione Umbra – Salumi, Formaggi & Vedure Gratinate (Cured Meats, Cheeses, & Roasted Vegetables)
Served With Montorsolo Grechetto di Todi 2011 Wine
Lasagna con Carciolfi & Guanciale (Lasagna With Artichokes & Cured Pork Cheeks) And Lasagna con Ragu di Cinghiale (Lasagna With Wild Boar Ragu)
Served With Petroro 4 Umbria Rosso IGT 2008 Wine
Prosciutto di Maialino at Forno con Montersolo & Ginepro (Pork Ham Roast Cooked In White Wine With Juniper Berries With Roast Potatoes & Salad)
Served With Petroro 4 Umbria Rosso IGT 2008 Wine
Tortino al Cioccolato Con Panna Arromatizzata al Limone (Chocolate Lava Cakes With Lemon Flavored Cream)
Served With Passito Alter Ego IGT 2007 Wine
Società Agricola S.Antimo s.s.
TODI (PG) – Frazione Petroro – Località S.Antimo, 4
Tel/Fax (+39) 075.8947253 – Cell. (+39) 331.5425902
Villa Selva Country House
Via Loreto 1
06035 – Loc. Grutti San Terenziano (Pg) Italy
Tel. +39 0742.98865 – Fax +39 0742-933251
Sunday May 12, Cantine Aperte
We began our start of Cantine Aperte by meeting Giselle and Mark at cantina Perticaia late morning, a cantina we all know well but one that was centrally located for us all. Although I awoke after our late evening at Cantina Peppucci feeling full and thinking I didn’t need to eat for a long time (maybe days), arriving at Perticaia we saw they had a number of foods to go along with their wine tastings for a small fee, including some small porchetta panini. Hard to believe, but as soon as I spied that porchetta I was beginning to feel hungry again! Wineries tend to all do their own thing on Cantine Aperte, some giving very small tastings of their less expensive wines for free, while others charge a small fee that includes tastings of their better wines with some nibbles of food to go along with the wine, and some combine the two. Considering many folks may visit a number of wineries in a single day, we find it best to pay the fee and get some food to counteract the effects of all the wine tasting. Wine always tastes better with food anyway and you really want to taste the best a cantina has to offer, so I suggest paying the fee. When you arrive at your first cantina, you pay a small charge, and are given a wine glass in a pocket to wear around your neck, which makes it very handy so you don’t lose your wine glass! When you visit each winery, you hand over your wine glass and they pour you a taste of the wines they are offering. We are very familiar with the Perticoia wines, and their wonderful wines are just one of the reasons they are a very popular stop for many during Cantine Aperte.
After tasting and nibbling our way through the three pairings at Perticaia, we had to decide where to go next. Mark and Giselle were interested in checking out a couple of wineries they are not familiar with outside the Montefalco area to potentially add to their list for their tours, and we were very happy to oblige. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
Mark suggested we visit Cantina Roccafiore next, one he has wanted to try for a while. The cantina is certainly off the beaten track, and the exterior of the winery was very industrial looking although they had lovely views and did their best to improve the appearance by planting climbing flowers. The inside of the cantina was immaculate, and they offered two of their lower priced wines for tasting for free and charged a small fee for the higher cost wines. Roccafiore also had a number of tables set up outside where local farmers sold everything from plants to preserves. Inside the cantina they had a large cheese selection and for a reasonable fee you could try a good number of local cheeses which of course we had to do. After sipping and nibbling our way through the selections at Roccafiore we decided to make one more stop before heading home and we made our way to Cantina San Rocco which is another cantina and agriturism outside of Todi.
After having a little difficulty finding the front entrance we finally figured out where we needed to park and headed up to check out the cantina. The grounds of Cantina San Rocco are lovely, and they had set up tables in their garden area for wine tasting. Again, a small fee was requested to taste 5 of their wines which we happily paid. As we sat in the shade and once again nibbled and sipped our way through the selection, we all found some new wines we enjoyed at San Rocco that we hadn’t tried before, LA VIGNA -Viognier IGT Umbria Bianco in particular. The kitchen kept bringing out more plates of food to try, and every time we all said we were done and couldn’t eat another bite, we seemed to manage to find room for just another taste.
It was a lovely, full afternoon tasting wine with friends on a gorgeous day in the Umbrian countryside, and I highly recommend that everyone who plans to visit Italy in the spring to try and plan their visit around Cantine Aperte.
06031, Bevagna, PG
Tel. +39 0742379014
06059, Todi, PG
Tel. +39 0758942416
Agriturismo San Rocco
Loc. S. Rocco, 14
06059 Todi, PG
Wine Tasting Dinner At Cantina Peppucci
Beautiful Fields Of Grapes At Cantina Perticaia
Giselle & Mark of Gusto Wine Tours Along With Louie & Luca
Produce And Specialty Food Stands At Cantina Roccafiore
Wine Tasting At Cantina San Rocco
Types Of Food Served With Wines At Cantina San Rocco
June 1st, 2012