31 August 2014
The 40th edition of the Bravìo delle Botti barrel race will be contested with brand new barrels, donated by the Consorzio del Vino Nobile. This year the traditional race through the streets of Montepulciano's old town centre will be held on 31 August.
The Bravìo delle Botti is a contest between the eight districts that make up the old town centre: Cagnano, Collazzi, Le Coste, Gracciano, Poggiolo, San Donato, Talosa and Voltaia. The prize, a beautiful painted banner, goes to the district that succeeds in rolling their 80 kg barrel uphill for more than a kilometre faster than the other districts. The barrels are pushed by teams of two athletic "barrel rollers" who follow a route that winds its way up through the picturesque streets of Montepulciano's old town centre to the finish line in Piazza Grande in front of the Cathedral. This year the race is held on 31 August.
The Festa delle Contrade, or Districts' Celebration, begins one week before the race, on Sunday 24 August, with the time-honoured presentation of the Panno, the hand-painted banner that will be handed over to the winning district. On 23 and 24 August the districts compete in the traditional "A Tavola con il Nobile" cooking competition, organised by the Consorzio in collaboration with the Magistrato delle Contrade. The winning entries are chosen from a selection of traditional dishes accompanied by the Vino Nobile.
The Cantine in Piazza (literally, "Wine Cellars in the Piazza") event on 22 August inaugurates an entire week of themed menus and tastings in Montepulciano's various restaurants and wine bars. The event is organised by the Consorzio del Vino Nobile in collaboration with the Magistrato delle Contrade.
Click here for more information about the Bravìo delle Botti event.