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AT SAN MARTINO EVERYBODY IN CANTINA

America's Indian Summer is what we call Estate di San Martino in Italy. But not just surprisingly warm autumn temperatures are related to St. Martin's day on the 11th of November. This is also the time of the year the fermentation of new wines has come to an end, a process described by another Italian proverb related to St. Martin: A San Martino ogni mosto diventa vino (by St. Martin every must has turned into wine). 

And with the beach and festival season long gone and the weather forecast for Sunday looking wet and unfriendly, what better time to visit some of Tuscany's finest wineries. San Martino in Cantina is one of five national winery visit days the Italian Wine Tourism Movement organizes every year. Three dozens of wineries in the provinces of Siena and Grosseto adhere to the initiative and welcome visitors for a free autumn tasting in their wine cellars.

On my quest to discover Tuscany's vineyards with a calling for architecture, I'll be tasting wine and admiring building blocks at the Pieve Vecchia vineyard in Campagnatico. The winery has been designed by Italian architect and designer Cini Boeri. Milan born Boeri is also known for her collaboration with some of Italy's finest names in furniture design.


Campagnatico seen from the park of Villa Bellaria
View towards Campagnatico from Villa Bellaria


After wine and architecture move on to literature and visit nearby Campagnatico. The small medieval village came to fame earlier than many another Tuscan hilltop town thanks to its mention in the Purgatory of Dante's Divine Comedy. But unlike Under The Tuscan Sun, Dante doesn't bring hoards of tourists. So don't expect a second Cortona, but prepare for a lonesome coffee bar selling newspapers, a couple of good old Tuscan restaurants, a lovely villa offering accommodation and a population quite happy with the fact that big tourism hasn't hit yet.  

SAN MARTINO IN CANTINA, SUNDAY 11TH OF NOVEMBER 2012
The Pieve Vecchia winery will be open from 10 am to 6 pm on the day. If you'd like to keep tasting, check the website of the Wine Tourism Movement for a list of participating Tuscan wine estates. For exact timing and location, best call your selected winery beforehand.

Not here yet, but wanting to come out in the future? Read my post on planning winery visits in Tuscany.  

Campagnatico's medieval town center in Southern Tuscany
Taking it easy
 Campagnatico in Southern Tuscany
The villa at agriturismo Villa Bellaria in Campagnatico
Villa Bellaria 

Medieval alleywas in Campagnatico
No tourist around

Marble plate commemorating Dante's Divine Comedy in Campagnatico
Dante's take on Campagnatico
Tuscan door and cat in Campagnatico's town center
Nobody home


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