Winery visits and wine tastings
La Raia botti in cantina visite in cantina e degustazione

Winery visits and wine tastings

A visit to a winery is every wine lover’s favourite experience in order to witness the production, learn the company’s philosophy and attend a wine tasting. A guided tour in a winery is a brand new way to get to know the real Italian wine world, to listen to the producer and taste excellent wine. Winery visits will tickle many senses, not only being a pleasure for the palate but also for the memory. It is alleged that what is learnt in the winery influences not only our memory but all our senses.

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Visita in cantina con degustazione vino

Brief sommelier tips for winery visits and wine tastings

Although there is no need to be an expert sommelier to visit a winery and take part in a wine tasting,, there are still some basic rules that should be followed:

  • The morning is the best time of the day for a proper tasting. In the morning our ability to recognise perfumes and tastes is stronger.
  • Before the tasting people should avoid coffee, spicy food, strong toothpastes and bitter fruits.
  • Strong perfumes shouldn’t be worn as they may interfere with the wine aroma
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited
  • When tasting different wines, it’s a good habit to rinse the mouth with water

A wine tasting is an experience that tickles all the senses: sight, taste and smell are all fundamental to rate wine, its aromas, taste and consistency.

Visual analysis: is the wine in my glass clear, hazy, transparent or brilliant? Is it greenish, straw-coloured, golden, amber, pinkish, purple red, ruby, garnet or orangy? Colour indicates several aspects of the wine: how young it is, whether it was kept in steel or wooden barrels, if it’s a late harvest or an evolved wine.

Consistency: Glycerine, alcohols, polyalcohols and other substances determine the consistency of wine. By moving the glass we can see if the wine is fluid, more or less consistent or viscous. Whites are usually not very consistent whereas reds such as Passito are considered to be viscous.

Olfactory analysis: This analysis highlights the perks and flaws of our wine. The scents of wine are divided into: primary, referring to the variety of grapes (flowers, fresh fruits, herbs, aromatic herbs, minerals etc), secondary which derive from fermentation and tertiary which are given by the aging process in barrels or in Barrique (jams, spices, etc). We all have different nasal perceptions, try and compare your experience with others…

Taste and tactile sensations: When tasted wine can be sweet, bitter, slightly savoury and salty. Tactile sensations determine its softness and hardness. Softness is usually given by sugars, alcohols and polyalcohols whereas hardness is normally caused by acids, tannins and minerals. When we say that a wine is soft, we’re not actually talking about its taste, we’re referring to a tactile sensation. How’s the wine I’m tasting?

Structure: This term refers both to the olfactory feeling and the taste. Individual feelings are influenced and often mutually reinforced or softened.

After all this, what remains to be mentioned is the most important part of a visit to a winery and a proper wine tasting. It’s a unique experience that introduces us to the history and culture of our country through its excellent products, the producers and the environment in which these products are born.

We fondly believe that food and wine tourism is the best way to discover our territory and its history and culture by getting acquainted with products, producers and places where producers work.

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About Author

Guido Clerici
Guido Clerici | Photographer since 1990, belongs to the Ordine dei Giornalisti (Italy’s Order of Journalists) since 2004. He has published covers, articles and advertisements on major Italian and international magazines (GQ Italy, GQ Germany, GQ Russia, GQ Spain, AD Russia, Traveller Russia, Max, Abitare, Interni), portraying national and international celebrities such as John Malkovich, Casey Stoner, Chef Cracco, Vico Magistretti, Winton Marsalis, Pistorius and many others. He works with companies and architecture and design studios making pictures for brochures, catalogues, and websites. He has been represented by Grazia Neri, Italy’s main photographic agency, and Agenzia LUZphoto of Milan. Beside photography, he works in the food-and-wine and tourism field. Between 2010 and 2012 he earns a Travel Agency Technical Director title, a Sommelier diploma with AIS and a Cheese Taster title with ONAF. Through Officine Turistiche, a website offering environmentally friendly wine-and-food itineraries, he also offers photo shooting, websites design, and event management.