When it comes to the harvest, it’s always a party. Each row of vines needs its time to mature and here in the western part of our island, the sunniest, the grape harvest could take place as early as the end of August while in the eastern part it could only be harvested after mid-September. And so, once we reached the ninth month of the year, in Capoliveri every day could be the right one to pick the bunches of grapes, full of juicy raisins.
Wine has always been one of the protagonists of the island (just think of Plinio, who described Elba as “Insula Vini Ferax” or the real King Aleatico, a sweet wine that only we have and that the whole world envies us for. When, in the past, the time of harvest came, families gathered and harvested the grapes until sunset, after which the party began: tables laden with meats, cheeses, first and second courses of all kinds, obviously without missing the fresh grape juice just out of the press.
It is probably thanks to this atmosphere of joy that someone thought it best to dedicate a village festival to the grape harvest: and that’s when in Capoliveri was born the Grape Festival.
Today we have reached its twenty-fourth edition becoming one of the most famous Elban events, even becoming part of the circuit of Tuscan festivals not to be missed.
The village is divided into 4 districts: the red “Baluardo”, the blue “Fortezza”, the green “Fosso” and the yellow “Torre”. Each district recalls how the people of Capoliveri and Elba lived at a precise moment in the past. There are those who represented the Great War, those the Hippie years or even those who still grappled with the times of the pirate Dragut.
And in those noises, framed by vines and bunches of grapes, real theatrical sketches are staged in which the local dialect dominates.
The first weekend of October, in Capoliveri there are three days of games and competitions, up to the most important day, Sunday, when the jurors, accompanied by the district chiefs with lots of journalists and organizers in tow, enter the districts and express their vote on preparations, costumes, recipes and traditions interpreted in the best way by each faction.
After this careful analysis, the much coveted statue of the God Bacchus will be awarded to the winning district, a masterpiece of over two meters, created by the master Antonio Cerica of Viterbo, a famous painter and sculptor.
The winning district will show it proudly and will keep it in its alleys, which are called “chiassi” for a year.
This is an event that we really recommend you to see, aggregation, culture, cuisine, the incredible crowd that throng the streets, the unusual atmosphere and the joy that can be breathed everywhere. Capoliveri lends itself really well and the people of Capoliveri are masters in surprising and entertaining and involving spectators.