As the tradition goes, September is the month when Greve in Chianti devotes three days to a jam-packed programme of events focusing on its product par excellence: Chianti Classico. The true symbol of this area imitated and loved worldwide is put on show in the town’s showcase, in its triangular square and beneath its arches where companies – members of the Consorzio del Gallo Nero – will set up their stalls and present the best of their products to the public in an event without equal, which involves much more than just tasting sessions, but also a busy programme of exhibitions, music, shows, conferences, etc. It’s one of the favourite occasions to get to know this representative of Italian products right where it’s made, served up by this event since the 1870s. Despite changing its name and set-up several times(first of all Mostra Mercato, then Rassegna and now Expo), its generic make-up has always remained the same: offering the best of the rural world and the Tuscan wine-making scene. This year the event will begin on Thursday 9 September with the opening of the stalls, tasting sessions and the inauguration of the exhibition Rhythm and Emotion in Chianti by Chirs Figuè and Daniela Vina in the little square next to the Wine Museum. The important conference entitled Un’esperienza vitivinicola a tutela del produttore, del consumatore e dell’ambiente: Panzano territorio sostenibile (A wine-making experience to protect the producer, consumer and the environment: the sustainable Panzano area) will open the Friday in Palazzo Comunale. It will then continue in the afternoon with the opening of the exhibitions Gallo Collection in Palazzo del Fiorino and Tempeste emozionali (Emotional tempests), terrecottas by Luca Vanni and Ellen Koch in the Museo di San Francesco, and a fashion show organised by the shop owners of Via Roma during happy hour and a little night music will bring the day to a close. Saturday will instead be the day of the special stamp collection for the 40th anniversary of the winemaking exhibition, which can be processed at the stall in Piazza Matteotti and also on the day when the distinguished citizen certificates are awarded, Borgo Artigiana with artisans at work and the round table for the long-awaited return of Radio Chianti: from the ether to the web. The festival draws to an end on the Sunday with an unforgettable firework display, but the star of these three days in Greve is always the same: Chianti Classico, with its many producers and endless possibilities in terms of tasting sessions and imparted knowledge. Last but not least, don’t miss out on the guided tours and walks on the Saturday and Sunday (with information and reservations at the festival’s pay point).
(Portions of this article first appeared in "Toscana & Chianti News")