Cantine Aperte, which translates to Open Cellars is an annual event, held on the last Sunday of May where many of the local cantina’s, members of the Movement of Wine Tourism, open their cellar doors to the public, to promote a direct contact with wine lovers. As well as tasting their delicious wines you are encouraged to sample some excellent local food, including salamis, hams, cheeses and breads. You get to see inside some of these amazing properties and take tours of the cellars where the owners povide you with and insight into their history, wines and methods of production.

To register you simply go to one of the participating Cantina’s, fill out a form and hand over €10 per person. They will hand you a wine glass, a holder (to hang your glass around your neck) and a programme. You are then free to visit any of the other Cantina’s on the list. You can pre-plan your tour by visiting The Movimento Turismo del Vino Lombardo.

We started our tour at Perla Del Garda, a large modern facility near Solferino, where we tasted some very nice Lugana, and some sparkling wines, before going on a tour of the production facility and cellar. I was also very impressed by the large collection of vintage scooters, motorbikes and cycles that were on display in the the very large foyer.

Our next next stop was Tenuta Roveglia, set in a beautiful old farm building, some parts of which date back to the 15th century. We tased wines in a wonderful wooden beamed room, which was full of artefact’s and family heirlooms, worthy of a visit just to see those, but the wine was also exceptional. We tasted a variety of Lugana’s and some Cabernet Sauvignon. I particularly liked the very reasonably priced Lugana Limne, it went very well with the white risotto and the specialty dish of tripe which was on offer as well as the hams, salamis and cheeses.

Ca’ Logera was our next stop, although they were surprised to see us, they hadn’t realised that they were participating in the event this year. But although they were busy serving lunch in their restaurant they were still very hospitable and invited us to taste a selection of their wines. We tasted 3 Lugana’s including the Lugana DOC.Superiore and the Lugana DOC del Lupo, which was excellent. We also tasted there Tur Blanc Spumante before being taken on a short tour of their small but very attractive cellar.

We hadn’t intended going to Cantine Zenato, but we drove past it on the way to our final destination and it seemed rude not to take a look. Thank goodness we did, as well as sampling some more excellent Laguna’s I couldn’t resist trying the Valpolicella’s which they are famous for. I started on the Ripassa before moving on to the award winning Cressaso and Amarone……Wow! And to cap it all they were serving some excellent salamis, hams and porchetta, a fantastic Grana Padano and to go with it some of the best bread I have ever tasted was being offered by a family bakery from Padova who I have unfortunately forgotten the name of. but I shall endeavour to find out.

For me the best was saved until last. I wouldn’t say that the wine of Fattoria Colombara Gozzi was more outstanding than the others I had tasted, although for the price it was. For €3.50 you don’t get any better white than the Terre di Olfino which I’m sure you would pay double and still be happy. The reds were also excellent and for me the award winning Vigna Magrini stood out. But it wasn’t just the wine that I loved about this place, it was the rusticity and the fact that they made you feel at home. It felt like we had stepped back in time and that we were a part of the family that owns this amazing Cantina. After the wine tasting we were given an excellent tour of the production facility and the cellar and given an clear and concise explanation of the history and methods of production by one of the Gozzi brothers. This was followed by a BBQ of costine (ribs), cotoletta (chops) and salamino (sausage), served with polenta and lardo (seasoned pork fat), washed down with more of the wine we had tasted earlier. An absolutely wonderful experience.

On the way home we stopped of at the Taverna dal Conte to finish the day off with a German beer of the highest standard…unfortunately by that time I was a little too….em….’stanco’ to take the details…but I did take some photo’s which you can see in the slide-show below.

I will be generating pages on this website with full details of the Cantine that we visited on Sunday which will include information about wine tasting and tours.

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