Cantine Aperte: May’s the Time to Visit Abruzzo

For those in the know, Cantine Aperte in Abruzzo takes place during the last weekend in May. This provides a wonderful late-Spring opportunity for wine lovers to indulge in Abruzzo’s exceptional wines, whilst immersing themselves in the region’s picturesque vineyards and rich winemaking traditions, exploring pairings and local culture through an array of activities.

Ed Foley is a very knowledgeable member of our private Facebook Group based in Castel Frentano (CH), famous for one type of Abruzzo’s bocconotti!  He’s written a captivating account of the allure of Cantine Aperte’s weekend of wine for those visiting Abruzzo in May, or why to bring your plans forward and make sure you do visit the region the last weekend of May!

For me, Cantine Aperte is one of the best days of the year. Not so much a festa, as touring a series of mini feste. The tricky bit is deciding which cantine to visit and waiting for someone to say “I’ll drive”. This year we visited five cantine.

We started at Azienda Tilli, which is worth visiting just for the view. They were obviously preparing for lunch, and our early arrival must have been unexpected, but they still managed to provide the warmest welcome of any of the cantine we visited. I would recommend their Trebbiano.

Our visit to Vini Paolucci began with an interesting tour of the vineyard and cellars, which fortunately finished in their tasting room. It was so relaxed it felt like we had been invited into the family home. We could have sat in the garden with some snacks but we never got further than the bar. We bought tickets for three glasses of wine each but I got the impression we could have stayed drinking all afternoon.

Next, to a larger event at Cantine Mucci via a perilous shortcut recommended by Google Maps. Loads of parking spaces. I love afternoons like this, sitting in a pleasant garden with a glass of white wine (or three), with a musical accompaniment. I have bought their Falanghina in the past but sadly it wasn’t available to taste.


By now it was getting late so we headed straight to Vinarte for our picnic dinner, which I always enjoy. You collect a wooden tray with your meal on it and eat in an olive grove. It’s a great atmosphere, usually with live music and we’ve had some great times here. Buy some extra arrosticini and try the Merlot rosé.


On Sunday we visited Cantina Frentana, where we often buy Rubesto. I was a little disappointed this time. Parking is easy but tickets for the wine cost €10 euros, which was more than other cantine. Bread and oil was available with the wine and there were two concessions selling mainly panini. There always seemed to be a queue for the wine. (I still can’t queue like an Italian so I frequently seem to be moving backwards as the ‘queue’ flows around me.) Plenty of seating, but in a concrete yard. The volume of the live music made conversation difficult. However, tickets included a tour of the tower, with great views.

There is a chance to enjoy a smaller, low-key version with Cantine Aperte in Vendemmia (Harvest) in September and October!

A Snapshot of Catine Aperte from the LifeInAbruzzo Group

Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.

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