|Cinigiano - Festa dell'Uva|
Harvest festival 2011
No better time to become infatuated with my beloved Tuscan village than this weekend. Most of the 500 inhabitants are in some way or another involved in the Festa dell'uva, the annual wine harvest festival.
My Tuscan native has his annual holidays around the dreaded Ferragosto plus a few days around Christmas. And then there is today, the only day of the year he takes off work. No, he wouldn't even dream of taking a day off for... let's say a round birthday of mine. But to do some mad 24/7 cooking and preparing for Cinigiano's Festa dell'Uva? Always!
He and two of his Cinigianese friends are running the Cantina del Volpi for the three days of the village's wine harvest's festival. Eight or nine of the tiny privately owned cantine or cellars open their doors during the Festa dell'Uva serving as improvised wine taverns. In fact one of nicest things about the Festa dell'Uva is that you'll be able to taste most of the local Montecucco wines without having to drive to each single vineyard through the beautiful, but curvy Tuscan hills. Trying all of them in one evening is an approach that works best for the steadfast. In fact it may be a good idea to book a room in a B&B or Agriturismo somewhere close.
If you happen to be of a more fragile constitution just make sure you don't forget to have a bite to eat here and there. You won't regret it.
The food is the real thing, home cooked by the village ladies, my Tuscan natives and his friends. In fact this is how it's looking all around the village right now. Pots one bigger than the other, and every available gas cooker in town going full steam.
You are looking for Tuscany - the real deal? Make sure you arrive early so as to be able to get a foot in before a local is eating it all up.
FESTA DELL'UVA 2011
CINIGIANO TOWN CENTER
FRIDAY 30th of September, opening of the traditional cantinas from 7pm until early in the morning.
SATURDAY 1st of October, whole day (the cantine open in the early evening until 3am)
SUNDAY lunch from 12pm, small market, street artists and medieval parade. Cantine opening in the early afternoon until 8pm.