Check It Out: Tuscany’s “Wine Windows”

During the 16th century, many farmers in Tuscany started to grow grapes and produce wine. However, at the time, selling the wine was much more difficult than today for three main reasons: first, the land where the grapes were growing didn’t belong to the farmers but rather to the rich landlords who taxed the wine selling. Moreover, a set of regulations were installed that burdened the farmer and made the selling of wine not economical. A third reason was that epidemics were quite common at the time, making the selling dangerous for the winemakers.

The solution the local winemakers found was absolutely brilliant. They have created a small hole in the wall from which they can sell the wine while protecting their identity and limiting contact with the buyers.

Today there are around 267 “wine windows” in Tuscany, most of them in the city of Florence. These became once again popular lately with the spread of Covid-19. The restaurants in Florence were forced to close during the pandemic, but the 16th century solution was proved useful once again, allowing the wine sellers to continue running their business.