01/06/2015 Huge success of

A festive horde of wine-lovers descended on the 47 excellent wineries from Daunia to the Salento taking part in the 23rd Cantine Aperte, making this a record year.

This great wine celebration, organised by the Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia in partnership with Regione Puglia's Rural Development Office and in partnership with Vinitaly International – official representative of Italian wine at Expo 2015 - was a great success. Both in terms of visitor numbers and quality, since they are increasingly attentive and aware, and want real contact with the fascinating, complex and continually developing world of wine.

Family groups and friends came in their own cars, by bike, Vespa and motorbike. From 10 am until dusk they visited the vineyards and wineries to explore their wines and also to taste local products, with the wine-growers on hand to tell them about the passion and commitment behind the region's wine industry.

'It was an amazing Sunday, with all places sold out in our member wineries, from the north to the south of Puglia – says President of the Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia Sebastiano de Corato. A great celebration which saw not only wine tourists arriving from outside the region, but also a vast number of local wine-lovers from Puglia who are increasingly interested in learning about the region's vast wine-growing heritage'.

From morning to night, hundreds of wines were offered for tasting, from the great vintages to the latest new entries on the market, at vertical wine tastings, workshops and mini-courses led by oenologists and sommeliers. As every year, there was also a full programme of entertainment, including games, live music and combinations of wine and art. There was also a huge rise in the number of visitors from abroad – Germans, Americans and British – taking advantage of Cantine Aperte and the long holiday weekend to explore Puglia's wines and territories.

Wine tourists arriving by bike also played their part in the success of the event, with cycle routes organised by cycle clubs Fiab Ruotalibera Bari and Fiab Clicloamici of Lecce, Brindisi and Mesagne. Alongside Puglia's wines on this special day, there were also the region's extra virgin olive oils. Some wineries hosted the tasting booths of the olive oil presses belonging to the Movimento Turismo dell'Olio, who offered their excellent oils and bottled conserve to visitors all day.

Great results also for '1 tappo, 2 perchè', which asked wine-lovers to bring corks to Cantine Aperte, in a campaign organised by the Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia to protect the environment and recycle corks. This campaign connects with the Movimento Turismo Vino Italia's 2015 campaign, Intercork II, to inform the public about sustainable use of cork, a 100% natural and recyclable product.

Huge numbers of visitors came to the wineries and handed in hundreds of corks collected in the previous weeks as they bought their wine-glasses. This simple gesture will make it possible for a specialised recycling company to give this material a new life.

But the story doesn't finish here in Puglia. The cork project is going to continue, in partnership with another noble cause of concern to all Puglia's residents at the moment. The next few days will see the launch of 'io sto con #gliulividipuglia'. Funded with much of the earnings from the wine-glasses sold at Cantine Aperte, this will involve the region's best restaurateurs and chefs in a campaign to protect Puglia's olive trees, the 'companion' of the vine in the region's agricultural heritage and now under serious threat. 50 have joined the campaign and in the next few days they are going to put their faces and hearts into defending one of the pillars of Puglia's landscape, rural and gastronomic heritage.
These 50 ambassadors - who represent Puglia's extra virgin olive oil to consumers - will take selfies wearing personalised T-shirts with the campaign logo, starting a social network campaign with the hashtag 'io sto con #gliulividipuglia' to involve all the agri-food exponents in a network of solidarity around the olive trees - the princes of our countryside. If you want to know the names of the 50 ambassadors, from 3rd June you can look at or follow the MTV Puglia accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Cantine Aperte heralds the start of the the Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia calendar of events, promoting quality wine tourism in town squares and in the wineries. The next date on the calendar is Calici di Stelle, the great event in the week of San Lorenzo, held this year in the delightful settings of Bari and Copertino.

regione Puglia