Lovers of Italian wine know that one of the most exciting periods of the year is when the grapes are finally harvested. This is when winemakers will be able to tell if the vintage has been particularly good and drinkers can anticipate the creation of wines that they will fall in love with a few years down the line.
As such, the autumnal harvest period has become extremely popular in Italy, with many tourists choosing September as the perfect year to make a pilgrimage to their favourite winemaker in the hopes of seeing the harvest first hand and perhaps get a little bit of insider info about the condition of the grapes and what the producer expects from them as they continue on with the winemaking process. They may even get a little bit of info that helps them make a more informed purchase when it comes time to decide between the various vintages from that year.
If you fancy heading into wine country during this period of the year, it helps to know which producers are the most accommodating and where you can experience the harvest in full flow. As such, we have taken a look at a few places that are great for tourists who want to experience what really goes into the harvest.
The Veneto region has long been known for the quality if wines that have originated from the many vineyards it contains, but it also plays host to some beautiful buildings and some truly awe-inspiring feats of architecture.
This makes it the perfect place to experience the harvest, as you get so much more besides that you can explore and enjoy.
Of all of the vineyards that you can choose from, we recommend the Villa della Torre Allegrini if you want to watch one of the most prestigious Italian wines in production. The winery is famous internationally for its quality, and you will be able to witness many of the grapes being harvested, in addition to seeing which grapes the company allows to wilt until December so that they can be added to the fresh grapes for secondary fermentation.
Feudi di San Gregorio
Southern Italy is beautiful simply due to the fact that the coast is so readily accessible, but the region has so much more to offer than beautiful sea views alone. In fact, there are many sprawling vineyards that are sure to catch your attention, making it the perfect place to visit if you want to get up close and personal with the harvest period.
Of all of the producers you have to choose from, we recommend Feudi di San Gregorio simply due to the fact that they have been credited by many with driving the entire economy of a region and they produce their wines with a sense of tradition that is difficult to find anywhere else.
Their vineyards are perfect for those who want to spend a little time wandering around vines that have existed for centuries, enjoying the smells of the sea air in addition to watching the winemaker at work. If you just want to escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life and simply enjoy watching true masters of the craft at work, there are few better choices in Italy.
It could be argued that there is no family in Italy’s rich heritage of winemaking that has had such an enormous effect, both on the domestic and international levels, as the Antinori family. They have been at the centre of the industry for centuries, acting as a driving force for change and influencing the industry and Italy as a whole since the 1300s. In fact, their influence has even been felt in more modern times, as it was the Antinori family that unleashed Tignanello on the world and truly popularised the concept of the Super Tuscans.
With that in mind, there are few vineyards in Italy that can provide as much of an education as those that are tended by the Antinori family. You will see vines that are literally hundreds of years old and have been used to craft some of the finest wines in the entire world.
You will also get to see workers who are true masters of their craft and have gotten the September harvest down to an absolute art form. For the true wine connoisseur, it would be easy to spend an entire week exploring the Antinori vineyards. Not only do you get to experience the harvest first hand, but you will also be afforded the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the family and the influence they have held over the years thanks to their guided tours.
How Do I Get Started?
While we have recommended a few wonderful places where you can experience the autumnal harvest for yourself, in truth the best place that you can enjoy the harvest is at the vineyard that produces the wine you love the most. This allows you to create an even more personal connection with the wine and the people who create it, thus allowing you to enjoy a deeper understanding of just how much pride and passion goes into your favourite drinks.
As such, you should start by finding out exactly who makes your favourite wines and where their vineyards are located. This should usually be quite easy to do just by reading the bottle, as most good winemakers will let you know exactly where their wine is produced.
Once you know the location, you should look for it online and find out if they offer tours of the winery and surrounding vineyards. Wine tourism has become exceedingly popular over the last few years so you should find that most producers are more than happy to accommodate people coming to visit them, particularly if they want to find out more about the wines that they love.
With all of the knowledge, it is simply a case of booking the trip and making sure that you don’t miss the harvest. Try communicating with the winery beforehand so you know exactly when you need to head over.
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