Summer of San Martino in Calabria

The young wine festival, amidst curiosities and tastings

© Regione Calabria

Tradition and folklore

"A Santu Martinu piscistòccu e vinu", one of the sayings with which San Martino is celebrated in Calabria, the time of year (11 November) that peasant tradition dedicates to young wine and conviviality, also dictated by the warmth of the favourable weather, the so-called "Summer of San Martino".

Let's discover together tales and legends linked to this particular time of year and places to celebrate San Martino in Calabria with a good glass of young wine.

The Summer of San Martino in Calabria

The Summer of San Martino in Calabria is an eagerly awaited event not only for lovers of good wine, but for all those who appreciate occasions when rural tradition meets wine and food tourism and the carefree atmosphere of street festivals.

From the north to the south of the region, the Calabrians honour the festival of new wine and the grape harvest through a series of initiatives aimed at rediscovering the territories and typical flavours in an authentic way.

Legend has it that the so-called "Summer of San Martino", i.e. the period around mid-November when summer weather is usually expected, is linked to a particular episode in the life of the French saint, Martin of Tours, who while riding came across a half-naked beggar during a downpour and gave him half of his cloak. His gesture of charity had the immediate effect of clearing the sky and warming the temperature.

Popular tradition links this warmth to the grape harvest period and the tasting of new wine, so much so that in Calabria the evening of 11 November is historically associated with the preparation of homemade dishes to accompany the glass: homemade bread, chickpea soup, crushed olives and stockfish are a must on the table.

Regione Calabria

There is also a typical cake in Calabria, the Pitta di San Martino, a "poor man's cake" originating in the Aspromonte area, which obviously has cooked wine as one of its basic ingredients.

In the places of young wine

If it is true that "in San Martino every must is wine", let's find out together where to taste the new wine in Calabria and which are the main events dedicated to the Summer of San Martino.

Remaining in Reggio Calabria and the surrounding area, among the historical places where this saint is traditionally celebrated, we discover that the Candlemas Parish is inspired by the "Mantle of San Martino" to pay homage to the "last ones" of the community with a religious feast that combines charitable giving with conviviality in the square.

Also in the Reggio Calabria area, the medieval villages of Stilo (among The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy) and Bivongi ("Wine City") are the protagonists every year of a real San Martino Festival that involves citizens and visitors from all over the region to taste the excellent local Bivongi CDO wine, amidst music and shows.

Regione Calabria

San Martino Festival, in Gioiosa Ionica (RC), is certainly among the historic events of the period (19th edition in 2023), in a formula that combines the tasting of young wine with stands of typical crafts and theatre in the square.

In addition to the historical San Martino festivals, the whole of Calabria participates in this pleasant occasion with more or less famous initiatives.

To find out about the itineraries and events linked to the occasion, simply drive along the "Wine Routes" in Calabria, contacting the local wineries open to the public, or inquire on the national "Open Cellars in San Martino" circuit (from 4 to 12 November, the 2023 edition) about which Calabrian wineries offer tastings and guided tours.

Degustazione vino
Regione Calabria

Ultimo aggiornamento: Feb 15, 2024 10:08 AM