Sample wine in an historic cave beneath Matera's rocky hills in Southern Italy
Wine-loving travellers take note. A unique experience has opened in the historic city of Matera, in the south of Italy, that allows guests to sample wine from a collection of over 300 different types while exploring a Sasso, a cave set beneath the rocky, rustic hills in the Basilicata region.
Opened last July, the Enoteca dai tosi winery was born from a design competition that saw Belgian studio architecten de vylder vinck taillieu emerging victorious. Together with Venetian owner Gian Paolo Buziol, the firm created a three-level wine house set within one of the stone city’s historical caves. Matera is known as the third-longest continuously inhabited human settlement in the world, with the natural tufa limestone caves in the area said to have attracted its first inhabitants approximately 7000 years ago. Gian Paolo Buziol decided to relocate his wine business to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in order to create a unique experience for visitors that appreciate history, as well as wine.
Upon visiting, guests first enter an open air patio with terracotta tiles and a winding staircase that leads to the first underlying room that forms a diamond structure, with a bar and display area for glasses and bottles of wine. Light fittings made from blown green Venetian glass illuminate the room, while another passageway leads through to the winery itself. A vaulted tunnel brings visitors to a final room, a circular cellar space that houses an impressive collection of wine.
The project’s name, “dai tosi” translates as “boy” in the dialect of Venice, where the owner is from, and the winery offers traditional foods from the city, known as cicchetti. The experience has between 350 and 400 different wines to taste from across Italy, with a large number of wines from Basilicata, the region that is home to the project. The story behind each wine is shared on site, with guests learning about a range of unique production methods. Despite being open only a short time, the winery has already attracted positive attention from connoisseurs and will no doubt be of interest in the coming years, with Matera set to be the European Capital of Culture for 2019.
More information on the Enoteca dai tosi winery is available at the official website.