“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.”(Cesar Chavez)
In all of Italy, the largest summer event dedicated to wine and the pleasure of being together is “Calici di Stelle” – Chalices of Stars– which takes place every year in the first part of August in the villages and cellars of Italy. The event has been organized since 1998 by the Wine Tourism Movement and by Città del Vino, the association of wine-growing municipalities in Italy, and today sees the participation of hundreds of realities from all over Italy, wineries and local administrations united by the municipality. interest in the culture of wine as a stimulus for sustainable development of the territory. The event develops with a myriad of appointments, from Val d’Aosta to Sicily and therefore takes place with the collaboration of the host municipalities and the participation of over 800 wineries of the Wine Tourism Movement, all wineries among the most prestigious in Italy. Italy.
As we said, the event affects the first half of the month, but the reference date is August 10, San Lorenzo, for the so-called ‘night of the shooting stars’, when it is possible to witness, clouds permitting, the natural spectacle of a rain. of meteorites. In the first weeks of August, in fact, the Earth in its orbit passes through what astronomers define as a ‘meteor shower’, tiny solid bodies that, upon contact with the atmosphere, precipitate and consume themselves in a trail of light.
So “all with the glass in hand and the nose up” because on the night of San Lorenzo, when the phenomenon reaches its peak, the astronomers calculate that on average there are about a hundred light trails observable with the naked eye every hour. Tradition calls them ‘the tears of San Lorenzo’; for science they are the Perseids, because the meteors appear in the night sky against the background of the constellation of Perseus. In Greek-Roman mythology the astronomical phenomenon of the August meteors was interpreted as a fertilizing rain favored by the god Priapus, who would thus have renewed the fertility of the earth.
In general, each winery associated with Movimento Turismo del Vino that adheres to “Calici di Stelle” presents a personalized program, which can be viewed on their respective social channels. The event includes dinners under the stars, evenings of music, observation of the sky, visits to the vineyard, masterclasses, activities in the cellar and between the rows, visits to cultural sites.
So wine and cultural offer, together with the magic of the territories under the stars, are the winning combination of the event, in a formula that combines the philosophy of good drinking with events, shows, design and art.
Here we focus on the events in Sicily and describe in particular the program (updated for 2022) of three events, in order: one for Eastern Sicily, one for Central Sicily and one for Western Sicily.
One of the most suggestive Calici di Stelle events takes place in Castiglione di Sicilia, in the province of Catania. Castiglione, the ancient “Castrum Leonis”, is part of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy” hosts the event which mainly involves wineries in the Etna area, although space is also given to companies from other Sicilian provinces. The event, in addition to the tasting of the various wines, includes the presentation of the companies to the public, also with the aid of films; takes place in the historic center, in the area in front of the castle of Lauria, in one of the most evocative corners of the ancient village. The highlight of the initiative, the Night of San Lorenzo on August 10, is preceded by numerous food and wine events that enhance the typical local products, such as extra virgin olive oil, hazelnuts, sweets, cheeses. Guided tours are planned in the cellars and in the historic center. Over the last few years Castiglione di Sicilia has become one of the most dynamic and internationally known wineries with about 50 wineries present in the area.
In Sambuca di Sicilia, in the province of Agrigento, “Calici di Stelle” is held at the Belvedere Terrace, with entertainment in the streets of the Saracen quarter with “Arte in Movimento” and then toast also for Sambuca di Sicilia “Borgo dei borghi 2016”. A coveted recognition that rewards the historical, architectural and landscape beauties of Sambuca but also the work of an entire community. Sambuca di Sicilia has been part of the Terre Sicane Wine Route of the Città del Vino Association since 1996 and is the seat of the International Iter Vitis Association (the European Cultural Route of Vine and Wine), hosted since 2007 in the prestigious Palazzo Panitteri. The first “Domus Iter Vitis”, a form innovative tourism that pays attention to the sense of welcome and sociality by inviting travelers to get to know and experience other local realities through the discovery of territorial identities and guided participation in demonstrations and cultural events.
Finally, in Contessa Entellina, in the province of Palermo, at the vineyards of the Donnafugata winery (which has its historic cellar in Marsala, in the province of Trapani), a “Calici di Stelle” full of emotions takes place. The event is traditionally a combination of wine and music and this time the magic of the nocturnal harvest becomes a composition written and interpreted by the musician Nino Errera, to celebrate the understanding between man and nature. A magical encounter that will fill, in addition to the glasses, also the heart and mind, thanks to an original and engaging experience, which ranges from music to tasting. The “Nocturne for vineyard and percussion” composed for Donnafugata by an innovative artist such as Nino Errera, called to collect the vibrations of a place rich in history and future at the same time, will be staged. The nocturnal harvest of Chardonnay – now adopted in various prestigious wine-growing areas – was experimented in 1998 by the recently deceased founder Giacomo Rallo, and then adopted for the La Fuga vineyard. An important innovation, which took advantage of the cooler temperatures of the night to preserve the aromatic characteristics of the grapes and to reduce energy consumption during refrigeration: solutions that have made it possible to increase quality and take a concrete step forward in terms of environmental sustainability.
List of Local Producers:
Here are just some of the participating wineries:
- Tenuta Scilio Valle Galfina
- Abbazia Santa Anastasia
- Alessandro di Camporeale
- Porta del Vento
- Cantina Marilina
- Feudo Ramaddini
- Terre di Noto
- Florio, Marsala (Duca di Salaparuta)
- Cantine Nicosia
- Feudo Arancio
All the in-depth news can obviously be found on the respective websites of social pages.
When it takes place ? As already mentioned in August, the highlight is day 10, the feast of San Lorenzo.
How to get there ? Each town is easily reachable by car or even by bus. Parking is relatively easy, on the occasion there are designated areas.
Are there any guided tours? Yes, both for the cellars and for museums or other cultural sites there are free guided tours or at almost symbolic prices, possibly also in English. In any case, the details of the programs of each event will be specified in due course on the websites or social pages of the organizing bodies and / or the host municipalities.
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