Anne's Blog

Cantine Aperte in Umbria

Date: June 5, 2012 - categories: , , - 2 Comments

Vineyard magnificence near Assisi

This past May, fifty-one Umbrian wine cellars threw open their cantina doors, invited visitors into their vineyards and uncorked bottles of crisp whites and robust reds for the thousands joining in on Cantine Aperte (“Open Cellars”). The festival – launched twenty years ago by Movimento Turismo Vino – is targeted at the diffusion of the culture of wine and developing familiarity with Italy’s great wine regions. Bringing to life the slogan “Vedi che bevi” (“See what you drink”), over nine hundred Italian wine cellars welcomed more than a million visitors on the last Sunday in May, 2011.

During the 2012 wine festival, Umbria’s cantine offer guided vineryard walks with an agronomist, jazz concerts, literary events associated with wine, art shows, tastings of territory foods best associated with their wines, helicopter rides over the vineyards at one Umbrian cellar and a bocce tournament in the vineyards of another.

Young Orvietani enjoy their area wines

Young people in couples or in groups headed from cellar to cellar, Iarge wide-bowled tulipano wine glasses, tucked in the traditional cloth bag (here in Umbria, the color of “Sagrantino red”) hanging round their necks. “But just sips”, a smiling group of four told me while in line for wines at the Cardeto Winery near Orvieto. “We have to drive and the carabinieri are on the watch today!”

Families gathered at picnic tables surrounding the Cardeto cantina to enjoy the wines along with fried seafood – or with sandwiches of savory Norcia prosciutto or local pecorino cheeses. Cantine Aperte events for children draw in families: treasure hunts, plays, puppets, clowns and music. As one young mother told me, “We want our children to recognize wine as culture, as an accompaniment to flavorful food, to be savored in moderation with family and friends.”

Ice-cream with olive oil in preparation

Over seafood and our favorite Umbrian white, Pino and I chatted about the correct pruning of our olive trees with an agronomist enjoying Cantine Aperte with his young nephews and niece.

At one stand, we talked to a producer/vendor of caprino (goat cheese), tasting her delicious caprino varieties and nearby, a local olive-oil producer offered us slices of bruschetta drenched with olive oil.

We had dessert at that stand: gelato all’olio di oliva, drizzled with olive oil. Who would have thought….?

As we were leaving, we passed the owner of a nursery at his stand of prized rose and hydrangeas, sipping an Orvieto white as he awaited customers. Bordeaux-colored wine bags holding tulipani glasses were piled high on the table at the entrance for the wine appassionati in line for tickets for wine-tastings and food-tastings.

We had arrived early enough to beat any lines. Cardeto, a wine co-operative founded in 1949 and specializing in Orvieto classico, has three hundred members today, cultivating about 1700 acres of vineyards.

Cardeto reds and whites ready for tastings by visitors

Next stop would be a smaller family-run winery near Assisi, SAIO, where the Mencarelli family lovingly cultivates thirty acres of merlot, Sangiovese, cabernet, chardonnay and Grechetto.

From il grande to il piccolo, Cantine Aperte wineries proudly offered excellence in wines – and hospitality as refined as the wines.

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing,” wrote Ernest Hemingway.

And yet he had never been to Cantine Aperte………

Click here to read about the “Open Olive Mills” festival
Read about a sagra near Perugia starring peperoncino


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)