Enoteca Vanni in Lucca, Italy: Explore One of the Best Wine Shops in the World by Sheri B Doyle
Among the old stone and brick buildings of Piazza del Salvatore is a wine store, Enoteca Vanni, which is more of an experience than a shop. The unassuming shop, with its dark wood floor-to-ceiling shelves, filled with wine bottles from every region in Italy, holds quite the surprise for shoppers. Walking through the tiny shop to the small staircase, one is instantly inspired to get lost in the surroundings.
Immediately after beginning the descent into the cellar below, a subtle smell of a medieval cellar wafts through the air as the coolness welcomes you. Lining the walls are more bottles of wine from Italy and liquors from all over the world. Thousands of bottles line the hallway and the two small rooms, some familiar but most appearing to be quite special due to production or availability.
At the bottom of the stairs in the heart of the cellar, wine racks covered in dust and cobwebs reveal themselves. Bottles, which range from a hundred years old to recent vintages, all share space in the perfect temperature of the cellar. On display are boxes with special vintages throughout the last century, each bottle tucked safely inside its wooden crate. Old stone structures make homes for displays of some of the oldest or most interesting Chianti, Sangiovese and Barolo wines.
The arched ceiling, forcing visitors to duck at times, leads the way to two tasting rooms where visitors are invited to book special tastings and learn about the wines in a perfectly Italian atmosphere. The proud family owners of the wine shop are able to passionately educate you about any one of the 55,000 bottles of wine stored either here or in their home cellars. It is an education and experience you may never find anywhere but inside the medieval walls of Lucca, Italy.[img