- Food & Wine
A toast to the vineyards and wineries of Lombardy
Autumn has come to Lombardy! Leaves of every shade and colour brighten the city squares, pavements and parks as the air becomes crisp and the countryside welcomes the first mist of the season.
In Lombardy's vineyards, where the harvest began at the end of summer, the majority of the work is already done, but between late September and the end of October the region's calendar is packed with must-see wine events and festivals offering aficionados a good glass of wine and much more.
The doors of Lombard vineyards and wineries are wide open to tourists and visitors. Experience the last magical moments of the grape harvest, and create unforgettable memories among the vineyard's rows and barrels.
What are the best places to spend a weekend immersed in the lush natural setting of Lombardy's vineyards? Their ideal climate makes them the region's most prestigious grape-growing districts: we're talking, of course, about Oltrepò Pavese, the Valtellina and Franciacorta. Their excellent produce has contributed greatly to the global renown of Italian winemaking. But rest assured that wine events are popular throughout the region. Here are a few suggestions to help you in your choice.
"Cantine Aperte in Vendemmia": the enchanting experience of the grape harvest
Wine is the sole star of this exclusive event dedicated to unveiling the secrets of the delicious grape nectar and the land it comes from. "Cantine Aperte in Vendemmia" is organized by the Movimento Turismo del Vino Lombardia (the Lombardy Wine Tourism Movement) and gives visitors the opportunity to learn more about the wines and history of local producers.
The wine "factory" opens its doors to all, not only for an unforgettable toast in the vineyard, but to actively involve visitors in the sensational experience of grape harvesting and pressing. The event extends until the first weekend of October and involves the districts of Valcalepio, the Garda area (Valtenesi, Lugana) and the Morainic Hills near Mantua, San Colombano al Lambro and Oltrepò Pavese.
Meet producers of Pinot Noir from beyond the Po Valley in the old town of Voghera
The Lombardy Wine Tourism Movement also invites wine-lovers to the second edition of 50 Shades of Pinot Noir, held in Voghera from 8th to 10th October. Make a booking on EnoNautilus and sample the produce of this world-renowned grape variety in the shops of Voghera's old town.
An autumn wine-tour in Pavia
Wine is the focus of this tour of seasonal flavours, one of the many initiatives of the project to promote Oltrepò Pavese's wine production (Chamber of Commerce of Pavia, Lombardy Region and Unioncamere Lombardia). The Autunno Pavese 2021 Wine Tour (booking required) will take visitors to a variety of wineries, restaurants and farms in Oltrepò Pavese, Lomellina and Pavese. Running until 31st October, the event offers tastings of local wines from Oltrepò Pavese, outdoor picnics and walks in the vineyard, visits to wineries, dinners with wine pairing, and more...
Take a stroll through the Buttafuoco vineyards
Founded by young winemakers from Oltrepò in 1996, the Buttafuoco Storico Club aims to promote the eponymous wine, known for "erupting in thick foam as it's poured", through events that have become a traditional fixture, such as "Scollinando with the Buttafuoco Storico". The event (strictly by reservation) takes place every weekend up until 31st October and involves member vineyards and wineries of the Pavia area, with guided tours, wine tastings and typical products. "Vendemmia in Famiglia" is another must-see: held on 10th October in the Poggio Alessi winery, people of all ages come together for the grape harvest and pressing, with a celebratory toast and snack. Lastly, we have "Yoga in the vineyard" on October 3rd - with a delicious apéritif at the end, of course!
Wine & the City: San Colombano arrives in Milan
Here is our last suggestion, for those in Milan unable to fit in a trip out of town and anyone wishing to spend a weekend in the capital. From 29th September to 3rd October, Ride Milano in the Navigli district is hosting a 5-day event dedicated to San Colombano DOC wine and the produce of the "Collina del Milanese" PGI, with tastings and sales of the famous wines of the Lower Lodigiana hills. The San Colombano Wine Festival is organized by the San Colombano DOC Voluntary Consortium, founded more than 30 years ago by 18 producers, owners of as many local wineries.