September marks the end of summer and the beginning of the harvest season. Harvesting the fruits of the earth, in particular grapes, is a very crucial agricultural moment in Italy, upon which many livelihoods depend. The harvest has always been celebrated by farmers and townspeople with festivals that have pagan origins as well as Christian elements. This tradition continues today through country fairs that share the celebration with anyone who wishes to join. We’ve compiled a list of the best wine and harvest festivals in Tuscany scheduled each Fall, with the 2015 dates for reference.
Expo del Chianti Classico, Greve in Chianti, Florence (September 10-13, 2015)
Greve in Chianti is a quaint town a short drive outside of Florence and one of the centres of Chianti Classico. The annual Expo del Chianti Classico offers visitors a series of events including visits to wineries and cellars, wine tasting, food stands and more. This is a very good occasion to learn more about the history of this iconic wine and most of all to enjoy it.
Info: expochianticlassico.com (only in Italian)
Vino al Vino Festival, Panzano in Chianti, Florence (September 17-20, 2015)
This is a festival organized by wine producers of the Panzano area in order to promote organic and sustainable winemaking techniques, high quality wines and more. It is a chance to sample different kinds of wines, talk with the winemakers and listen to some very good jazz music!
Festa dell’Uva , Vagliagli, Siena (September 2015)
An entire weekend to celebrate the harvest and taste great local products. Experience the beauty of an authentic Italian celebration and drink wines in the tasting points located around town. Live music, workshops, and meet & greets with local producers are also included.
Grape Festival, Impruneta, Florence (September 27, 2015)
The Grape Festival has been held in Impruneta since 1926 and it is the oldest wine festival in Italy. Every year the entire town celebrates with a parade of floats, tasting of agricultural products, shows of local handicraft products and artistic performances related to harvest and grapes.
Tastes of Autumn, Signa, Firenze (October 4, 11, 18, 25, 2015)
Tastes of autumn is an authentic food and wine festival held in Signa, not very far from Florence. Food stands, workshops, olive oil tasting and “Novello” wine for everybody. These are the ingredients for experiencing a true Italian Sunday out and a way to appreciate the warm colours of nature and tastes of autumn.
Marradi Chestnut Festival (October 4, 11, 18, 25)
Marradi is a lovely town in the Mugello area and every October since 1966 it hosts this festival entirely devoted to the chestnut harvest. You can taste local products such as ravioli, jams, cakes and, of course, fill up on roasted chestnuts (they are delicious!). If you are a stream train lover you can arrive with an old train from Florence (find booking at ferrovieturistiche.it and read our article about other steam train trips in the area)
Info: pro-marradi.it (only in Italian)
Autumn Festival, Asciano (October 25)
Asciano is a small medieval town located in Val d’Orcia, not very far from Dievole, which every year hosts a festival where you can taste organic products and local wines, and admire handcrafts of local artisans. This year the protagonists are truffles and the various ways to use them to prepare delicious dishes. You can drive here or arrive on an old stream train from Florence (booking information at ferrovieturistiche.it)
“Castratone” Chestnut Festival of Piancastagnaio (November 1)
This festival celebrates the end of the chestnut harvest and the beginning of the winter season. This is the oldest chestnut festival in Tuscany and it is held every year during the first weekend of November. Roasted chestnuts are the featured ingredient of the various food stands but there is also the chance to taste other foods and vegetables produced in the Monte Amiata area.
Castagne and Vin Novo, San Gimignano (October 31, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, December 7, 8, 9)
The harvest of both chestnuts and grapes is also celebrated in San Gimignano, a small town 30 minutes by car from Dievole. The event takes place in various locations around the town where you can taste roasted chestnuts, local products and “Vin Novo” or new wine, with a free glass of this for everyone!
Olive Oil Festival of San Quirico D’Orcia (December 6-8)
There are various olive festivals in Tuscany during the period of the harvest, but this is the most famous and biggest one. San Quirico D’Orcia is a beautiful medieval town very close to Siena – and Dievole – and every year the town comes to life with food stands, workshops, walking tours and more.