Find out how to take part in the grape harvest in Italy and where to experience this magic, discovering Italian culture and tradition.
The grape harvest in Italy is a fascinating experience that brings you into close contact with nature. Experiencing the grape harvest in Italy at first hand is a relaxing moment that will make you appreciate both the raw material you harvest and the local culture linked to food and wine.
Being part of a millenary tradition, such as the grape harvest in Italy, introduces a new concept of tourism, which links you to the territory and brings you closer to the local inhabitants and workers. A different approach that offers food for thought and new ideas for organising your next holiday.
Discover the grape harvest in Italy on a journey through the regions, their wines and traditions
The grape harvest period in Italy is between the end of August and the first half of October. It varies depending on the sun exposure and altitude of the vineyards and the weather conditions of the current year. Many wineries open their doors to tourists looking for a different experience. It is a very important event for the Italian economy: the wine and food sector plays a fundamental role in terms of economy and image worldwide.
Participating in the grape harvest in Italy actively takes you on a tour of wine cellars and their wines, in a collective celebration that combines work with the satisfaction of being part of an ancient ritual. You will see first-hand the various production phases up to the tasting of what is produced. An event full of emotions, scents and flavours. You will learn to recognise when the grapes are ready, at the right sugar level, and you will collect them in the assigned baskets.
Let's begin our journey through Italy to discover the traditions associated with the grape harvest.
The grape harvest in Italy from Monferrato to the Langhe
From the Monferrato to the Langhe, it is possible to participate in the grape harvest to experience at first hand a ritual linked to tradition. It is not just physical work, but a collaboration that ends with a convivial moment, made of local products, that rewards all the efforts of the day. It is also an opportunity to visit the very towns where the wine is produced. The grapes that ripen the longest are Nebbiolo. Between Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto and Moscato d'Asti, tasting at the end of the day is a must.
Take part in the grape harvest in Italy's Valle d'Aosta
On the border of northern Italy, the grape harvest is an opportunity for work and tourist promotion. Wineries that open their doors to visitors organise meetings and tastings of typical products of the Aosta Valley tradition. Those who participate in the grape harvest are involved in cultural and recreational activities that lead to the discovery of the territory and its people. Among the most appreciated wines, you should try Torette, an Aosta Valley wine par excellence, and Pinot noir, of French origin and planted in this region.
The Oltrepò Pavese
The grapes harvested in this area become prized Pinot Noir, Barbera and Bonarda. Harvesting and crushing are the stages attended at all the wineries and preceded by guided tours to the cellars, where one can admire the barrels while listening to the explanations of the various producers. Tours to Franciacorta, Valtellina and Mantua for Lambrusco production are also very popular. Among the events organised are the crushing in the vats for children, while for adults there is a night-time grape harvest and, on request, a wine bath.
Sparkling wine in the mountains
The grape harvest period in Italy in Trentino is combined with walks through apple orchards that take you directly to the rows where the grapes are harvested. The route also shows all the stages of the classic Trentino method, used for the production of DOC wines.
Grape harvest in Italy under the Dolomites
At the foot of the Dolomites, the production of wine and grappa is very popular. The Wine Road is dotted with wine cellars offering wine tastings and food and wine tours all year round. During the grape harvest period in Italy, it is possible to follow these processes directly and create strong ties with the territory and its products.
Friuli Venezia Giulia
A memorandum of understanding has been signed in Friuli Venezia Giulia to guarantee an educational value to this type of experiential tourism. On the various routes, the secrets of the world of oenology are explained, in a fascinating journey involving the whole family. Even children are welcome and are invited to take part in activities suited to their abilities.
Discover the grape harvest in Veneto Italy
In Veneto, the grape harvest is the occasion to organise the Bardolino Grape and Wine Festival, a five-day event dedicated to wine culture and promoted by the Consorzio Tutela Vino Classico DOC. In addition to tastings and visits to wineries, various concerts and educational meetings are organised to discover the territory and its culture.
In Emilia Romagna, the grape harvest is a delicate moment, when the fruits of 100,000 hectares of vineyards are harvested. The most renowned grapes are Sangiovese, Lambrusco and Trebbiano and are harvested mainly in the provinces of Bologna and Modena. The most popular festivals related to this event are the 'Sagra del vino Novello' in Longiano and the 'Sagra del vino e del Lambrusco' in Sorbara.
Vineyards in Liguria enjoy a special position: suspended between the mountains and the sea, they breathe breezy air that ensures optimal ripening. Among the most appreciated wines, there is growing interest in Pigato, a DOC product of the Riviera di Ponente, while Bosco, Albarola and Vermentino are excellent products of the Cinque Terre.
How the grape harvest in Italy is organised in Val d'Orcia
Harvesting the grapes that, after fermentation, will give life to Sangiovese or Brunello di Montalcino, will give a different meaning to each subsequent tasting. The cold meats and cheeses served, accompanied by classic Tuscan bread, will be the perfect accompaniment to a weekend that combines work in the vineyards with pampering in the spa. Many resorts, in fact, add this activity to those present all year round, to offer a unique and customised experience.
The region of Lazio participates in the Cantine aperte per la Vendemmia (Open Cellars for the Harvest) initiative, with various local producers opening their doors to those who want to learn more about the world of oenology. The project begins with a presentation of the raw material and then continues with an explanation of the various production phases and techniques, narrated directly by the winegrowers. It is an opportunity to organise parties, with music, entertainment and activities related to this sector. The typical wines produced in Lazio are Cesanese, Malvasia del Lazio, Moscato di Terracina and Passerina del Frusinate.
The Marche region is home to around two thousand wineries that produce wines that are appreciated and exported all over the world. The grape harvest plays a fundamental role in the regional economy and during its period, the wineries organise interactive events to involve tourists and the curious and encourage them to discover all aspects of the territory. The most widely cultivated grape variety is Verdicchio, followed by Montepulciano, Vernaccia, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero.
The grape harvest in Abruzzo begins in September with the white grapes of Pecorino and Moscato, while Trebbiano and Passerina are picked at the end of the month. After that, the harvest moves on to Montepulciano. With the open cellars event, it is possible to buy a glass and a bag to store it in, it will be your travelling companion during the itinerary to discover the wineries participating in the initiative.
In Campania, the wine-growing tradition is very old and the grape harvest lasts from August to November, depending on the grape variety. In the province of Naples, the grape harvest is often accompanied by popular festivals and fairs, such as the 'Sagra del vino di Montefusco' and the 'Sagra del vino e del Fiano di Avellino' in Avellino.
In Umbria, the grape harvest period is an opportunity for young and old to get to know local farms and businesses. In addition to the experience of harvesting grapes, many farms organise meetings and educational tours that explain how products are made and what ingredients are used. These are veritable food and wine festivals that promote the knowledge of local delicacies.
Vineyards are not very widespread in this region, but it is possible to find appreciated wines such as Aglianico, Malvasia Bianca and Malvasia Nera di Basilicata.
The most widespread grape varieties in Molise are those bordering Abruzzo, and the grapes are Trebbiano d'Abruzzo and Montepulciano. A new cultivation, which is quite successful, is that of Tintilia, a DOC product of Molise.
The grape harvest tradition in Apulia
The vineyards of Apulia reach ideal ripeness between September and October, when temperatures drop. Among the most renowned varieties is the Primitivo di Manduria, a full-bodied wine with a rich flavour. The grape harvest in this region is a real ritual involving all farmers.
Grapes in Calabria are mainly cultivated on the Tyrrhenian side, with a prevalence of dark grape varieties. Among the most renowned wines are Magliocco, Greco di Bianco DOC and Costa Viola IGT.
Wineries in Sicily also allow this experience. The scenery is different and the sea will be the distant backdrop for a fulfilling and instructive day's work. The picnic between the rows of vines is tinged with shades of intense colour and mixed with the scent of the sea. In Sicily, the vineyards overlook the Mediterranean coast and reach as far as the slopes of Mount Etna. Here, the grapes of the prized Nero d'Avola and Etna Rosso DOC are harvested. In Montevago, in the Belice Valley that is part of the Terre Sicane Wine Route, the Montevago Wine Festival comes to life. It is a folkloristic event, in full Sicilian style, that combines food and wine stands and handicrafts.
Wine production in Sardinia is not high in volume but has a fair variety of indigenous grapes that are appreciated throughout Italy. The most famous wine is Cannonau, a red that goes perfectly with Sardinian cuisine. Among the white wines, the most renowned are Malvasia di Sardegna, Vermentino and Vernaccia di Oristano.
Why take part in the grape harvest in Italy
In Italy, the wine sector is of great importance, both economically and culturally. Taking part in the grape harvest in Italy therefore allows you to get to the heart of rituals that are part of Italian tradition and culture. It is the ideal opportunity to see and experience first-hand all the stages of the production process of a product of excellence that is exported all over the world. It gives the opportunity to discover new wines and to pair them with the most suitable foods to enhance their taste, aroma and flavour.
The wineries that organise these events also welcome children, paying attention to their enjoyment and activities that can raise children's awareness and bring them closer to nature. Families have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful days of education and fun. If you want to combine this experience with a long weekend, you can get to know the area around the winery and perhaps treat yourself to a spa stay, amidst pampering and nature experiences.
Are you ready to discover your inner sommelier?