In celebration of the grape harvest and in honor of part of what makes the region of Trentino famous, it’s the Grape Festival in Verla di Giovo. From September 20 through 22, Verla di Giovo in the Trento province will come alive for its 62nd annual Festa dell’Uva! If you’re planning to be in the area, you won’t want to miss it.
Verla di Giovo and its Wines
Verla di Giovo is located in the Cembra Valley. The altitude, sun exposure and soil make this terrain very unique for wine cultivation. At its highest points, the altitude exceeds 1,000 meters and “great mountain whites” like Pinot Bianco, Kerner, Chardonnay, Riesling and Müller Thurgau reign here. Remarkable Pinot Noirs and Schiava are also produced here. It would stand to reason that the area would want to celebrate some of its most prized contributions. And celebrate it does.
The festivities begin on Friday, September 20 at 6 pm when the food and wine stands open. An entire article could be written about the delicacies alone! Scrumptious choices will be offered from the region such as polenta, pasta with wild boar sauce, sausages and cured meats, hand-crafted beers, apple fritters, crepes and of course- wine!
Grab something to eat and stay for the entertainment which will go on until after midnight with various tribute bands (including Queen), dancing, and children’s games. On Saturday, the fun begins at 2:30 pm with a children’s workshop followed by an entire evening of various shows and entertainment including a samba show and circus performance. At 10 pm, Piazza Molinari will host the famous Palio dei Congial.
This hilarious race involves the congial, which is used in the fields for transporting grapes during the harvest. On the steep slopes of the Valle di Cembra, this “container” is indispensable since the vines are difficult to reach by mechanical means. At the Grape Festival, the congial is used to haul water in a friendly contest between competing districts.
Sunday morning, the 22nd, will begin with the famous Marcia dell’Uva at 9 am departing from the Central Village. You can choose from three different routes (5, 10 or 16 km) that wind through the typical stone walls of the area’s vineyards, between historic villages, ancient churches, farms and woods. Refreshment points along the way will offer tastings of local food and wine products.
The grand event will take place Sunday at 2:30 pm- the Sfilata. Similar to a parade or a procession, the sfilata pays tribute to the harvest with its beautifully colored, originally designed allegorical floats. This flamboyant procession of grapes invades the streets of the village of Giovo. Depicted in a myriad of shapes, dimensions and imaginative inspirations, it’s reinterpreted in all its facets. A whirlwind of enthralling enthusiasm depicting cultivation, harvest, traditional crushing, and the myths and legends related to wine and the cult of the god Bacchus. But it is not just a game: the floats are evaluated by a jury, which has the difficult task of voting for the best.
The rest of the day will be full of music, dance, food and of course, the awards ceremony declaring the winner of the sfilata at 6:30 pm.
Learn more about the beautiful region of Trentino.