Calici di Stelle a Montepulciano is the most awaited summer event by wine lovers. An appointment that has been renewed every year since 2002, when a first edition was organized under the starry sky of Montepulciano to taste the precious local wines in a festive and convivial atmosphere, with live music, shows for children, exhibitions and tastings of typical local products. Calici di Stelle is a national format and all around Italy it is possible to find different type of events, always with wine as first protagonist.
The first edition of Calici di Stelle a Montepulciano in 2002 was postponed to the following week as well as that of 2015, due to rain. Perhaps it would have been appropriate to postpone it even in 2016, because one of the organizers remembers getting wet from head to toe!
And postponing Calici di Stelle a Montepulciano is not so easy, because it is with the event the period of propitiatory dinners of the 8 Contrade of Bravìo delle Botti di Montepulciano begin. Bravìo is the well-known race with barrels that takes place on the last Sunday of August in the historic center of Montepulciano. There are many people involved in Calici di Stelle a Montepulciano and many are the collaborations done to realize the event, which is why moving it even by just one day is really complicated! Just think that during the event at least 20 sommeliers take care of the tastings, there are always at least 5 musical groups, the 8 Contradas open for dinners and therefore all the people from the Contradas are involved, and then there are the tasting counters with dedicated staff, for mostly young people from the area, and the producers of wine and typical local products. Every year we discuss, we laugh, we get tired, cars and bonds fit together – yes, this happened too – we fall in love. Who knows how many people met and fell in love at Calici di Stelle in Montepulciano? Someone told us about it, asking us a few years later to send them the glasses of the “edition of their love”.
Over the years many innovations have been done, some of which have also been adopted by other organizers in Italy. For the first time, many years ago, the alcohol test was introduced and the message of “conscious drinking” was launched. Since 2018, a concrete action has been taken to support the environment with the collection and recovery of cork stoppers thanks to the collaboration with Sughero Vivo association.
The event has become a real format, awaited every year by the local inhabitants and tourists who see the streets of the town dressed up for the night of San Lorenzo with tasting stands, with the extraordinary opening of the Contrade del Bravìo delle Botti di Montepulciano for dinners of typical products.
Some curiosities: in Calici di Stelle a Montepulciano every year there is something new. Since 2014 with Valdichiana Living, the tour operator within the Strada del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the Flavors of the Valdichiana, we organize guided tours of the historic cellars located in the historic center of the town, the famous “Special Calici Tour”; in 2020, in order to do not interrupt the event in time of Covid, it was decided to replace the itinerant tasting with a guided tasting on reservation: a choice so appreciated that it remained in the format also in the following years; in 2022, together with the tasting of Rosso di Montepulciano and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the possibility of tasting a Cocktail based on Rosso and Amaro di Toscana, an excellent local liqueur, was proposed.
Special collaborations: since its inception, the Fisar, the Italian Federation of Sommeliers Hoteliers Restaurateurs, has been involved in pouring wine at Calici di Stelle a Montepulciano; since 2012, only in some editions, a guided observation of the celestial vault has been carried out in collaboration with the Società Astronomica Poliziana.
Partners whose collaboration is crucial for the success of the event are: Magistrato delle Contrade di Montepulciano, Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte and Isituto di Musica H.W. Henze, the Bruscello Poliziano, Polizia Municipale di Montepulciano, Misericordia di Montepulciano.
Over the years over 20,000 bottles of Rosso di Montepulciano and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano have been uncorked; a new glass was distributed every year, with a different phrase printed in screen printing and dedicated to the world of wine; over 400 people have collaborated in the realization of the event; over 30 bands have performed over the years.