Italy Today

Wine festivals in Italy

From North to South, here is how Italians celebrate wine in Autumn

Wine festivals in Italy

Claudia Astarita

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Grapes are grown in every region of Italy, and the harvest season comes at different moments along the peninsula. Grapes are ready to be harvested in the early to mid-fall, most often during October, but in Sicily, the table grape harvest can start as early as mid-June, when the summers have been particularly hot.

The occasion is celebrated almost everywhere and there are hundreds of towns and villages that have wine festivals, mainly throughout the months of September and October, following traditions that date back many centuries ago.  Tourists from all over the world come to Italy in order to experience the nationwide celebrations and indulge in some of the best wines in the world, because a vendemmia (Italian word for grape harvest) is one of the most fascinating experiences you can enjoy in Italy during the Fall season. Tourists who participate in a harvesting session are brought to a charming wine estate, where they are invited to assist with the process of wine making during the main operational phases and taste some excellent local wines served with lunch. They can familiarise with the atmosphere in a working winery, sometimes also collect grapes.

After visiting the vineyards, many tourists are able to enjoy a beautiful festival, such as those in Asti, Bardolino or Panzano. In the stunning region of Piedmont, the city of Asti (famed for its sparkling wines) hosts its annual Douja d'Or, in September. At the beginning of October, the Bardolino Grape Festival is held in the town of Bardolino, on the shores of stunning Lake Garda, while each year on the third weekend in September Chianti's hill town of Panzano is home to the Vino al Vino Wine Festival. There are much more occasions to be part of wine festivals, in particular in the area of Tuscany, where the best internationally known wine growing regions of Italy are.

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