May 28 - June 3

Cantine Aperte! With Jennifer Hornor

Cantine Aperte! With Jennifer Hornor



Workshop Dates:
May 28 - June 3

About the Workshop

Italy is the world’s top wine producer and thus the perfect place to enrich your enjoyment. Here, you will immerse yourself in the rich history of Italian wine, experience its diversity, and celebrate its connection to some of the most amazing foods in the world!

Throughout Italy, the spring, Cantine Aperte festival is one of the most important wine events of the year – and one of the most enjoyable. The seasons new wines are unveiled on the last Sunday in May, when vineyards open their doors to all who are eager to taste the new vintage. It is an amazing celebration going back many, many generations!

We can think of no better place to experience this festival, than the gentle hills of Umbria. Densely forested, its wooded hillsides are alternately blanketed with farms, vineyards and olive groves, like a patchwork-quilt. The region’s nickname: “the Green-heart of Italy” describes its importance as an agricultural center. Here, however, like perhaps nowhere else in Italy, ancient traditions have resisted industrial farming and production methods. Perhaps this is due to the hilly terrain, or perhaps to stubbornness of its inhabitants, who cherish their traditions and lifestyle. One finds, “… the special Umbrian region, full of history and culture, where the act of every farmer is full of folk wisdom, simplicity, passion and sacrifice. The philosophy is influenced by the histories of men working in the fields, surrounded by the hilly landscape of rare beauty, where vines encircle the round forms of the earth.” ( This is Italy at its best!

At ICA, we provide opportunities to experience wine on a level rarely experienced by non-Italians. Our visits to small, family-run and operated wineries provide opportunities to enrich the experience of wine through stories and experiences of individuals whose families have produced wines on these properties for generations. They generously share their enthusiasm and love of wine with visitors. They also share their stories about their vineyards, the grapes they cultivate, and the wines they produce.

Monte Castello is the perfect place to experience the wines and oils of Umbria. Our village is one of the best-preserved medieval hill-towns in Italy. Its picturesque public spaces, such as our beautiful central square and tranquil public garden, provide vistas that invite conversation, fellowship, and an opportunity to savor la dolce vita – the “sweet life” of Italy. From these vantage points, visitors look out at spectacular views of the Tiber River valley below the village. Here they are rewarded by views of hillsides draped by some of the finest vineyards and olive orchards in the world! In these beautiful and gentle landscapes, one feels no pressure and experiences none of the pretense that often attaches itself to appreciation of wine elsewhere. In Italy, - especially in Umbria – wine is for people, for enjoyment, for savoring the joy of life.

We will make a particular emphasis on the unique wines of the Montefalco region of Umbria, called by Conde Nast the “top upcoming wine region of Italy.”  We will focus in particular on the Arnaldo Caprai vineyard, twice selected by Wine Spectator as the “Top Italian Vineyard.”

Your workshop package is all-inclusive, providing welcome and departure services and airport transfer from the Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO). Aboard our comfortable private bus, single occupancy accommodations with shared bath (a wide range of upgrades with private bath are available), 3 meals per day Monday-Thursday, Prosecco brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday (no meals are served on Friday, our excursion day. Your workshop includes one excursion per week and many additional options are available on weekends for an additional fee. Of course, 24/7 access to facilities and 24/7 bi-lingual support are provided throughout your stay.

Included Amenities

Click on the links below for detailed information about our included amenities.
View Amenities Page »
  • Airport transfer from and to the Leonardo da Vinci Rome/Fiumicino Airport (FCO) aboard our private bus (on scheduled dates only). Bus departs the airport promptly at 12PM.
  • Airport welcome service and assistance with baggage
  • 24/7 bi-lingual support with manager on site at all times
  • All ground transport aboard private buses or our ICA van, unless otherwise specified. Licensed and insured professional driver and ICA guide accompany all excursions. Orientation at each destination is provided as is departure coordination (guide service is available upon request — unless specified — for an additional fee)
  • Complimentary bottle of local wine provided in rooms on arrival day and complimentary locally made soap
  • Village orientation and complimentary drinks provided on arrival day
  • Private access to our 5-storey tower at our Palazzo Persiane (on sign-up basis) for spectacular morning and evening views
  • Access to our art materials shop (during posted hours)
  • Thorough orientation lecture and maps provided the evening before departure
  • Return transport to the Rome/Fiumicino Airport (departs 5:30AM) with rest stop
  • Departure service/airport assistance at airport
  • Unless otherwise specified, single occupancy accommodation is provided in rooms with a view of the Tiber Valley that includes sink and vanity. Rooms are with shared bath on each level (3 rooms per bath) in our 14th century convent building, The Asilo. Apartments, rooms with private bath and AC, double rooms, group or villa accommodations are available for couples, business associates/ friends, or groups for an additional fee
  • Linens and towels provided
  • Weekly housekeeping service with change of towels and linens
  • Free washing machine access
  • Good Wi-Fi connection and access to our library and film collection
  • 3 chef-catered, gourmet meals per day (buffet breakfast, 3-course lunch, 4-course dinner) — with wine at lunch and dinner (table wine provided at lunch and dinner. An excellent wine list is offered at additional cost), while in Monte Castello
  • Group dining service is as follows, with breakfast and lunch served in our dining room, etc, with dinner (weather permitting) served on our private terrace overlooking the Tiber Valley
  • Lunch and dinner are plated as follows: pasta course, main course, vegetable, fruit/salad, dessert
  • When requested at registration, vegetarian, vegan, and special dietary options are provided
  • After dinner drinks on our terrace overlooking the Tiber valley
  • Dining service is as follows: Breakfast: 8:00 AM; Lunch: 1:00PM; Dinner: 8:00 PM. No meals are served on Fridays (excursion day) unless otherwise specified
  • On Saturday and Sunday, a full buffet brunch with fresh pastry and Prosecco is served at 11:00 AM
  • On Saturday, homemade, wood-fired pizza is served at 7:00 PM (except on departure days, when a special farewell dinner is served)
  • Sunday dinner with antipasti is served at 7:00 PM
  • Farewell dinner on the evening prior to departure
  • 24/7 access to our primary building and library is provided, including access to workspaces, studios, and ceramics facility
  • Special access to certain cultural and art collections is available upon request
  • FOR GROUPS: Group workspace is provided (24/7 access)
  • Free access to lectures and events at the Teatro Concordia
  • An end of the session exhibition with reception that includes hors d'oeuvres and Prosecco in our gallery. Posters are prepared to promote the event with copies provided to all participants
  • 1 excursion per week is included (unless otherwise specified in the itinerary) aboard our private bus. Additional trips can of course be scheduled and given our central location. (Day trips are possible to as far north as Siena or Florence and as far south as Rome.)
  • Advanced reservations and ticket purchases for groups and individuals
  • Concierge services provided upon request at an hourly rate
  • Restaurant reservations (provided under Concierge services)
  • Car rental
  • Critique series with visiting visual artists
  • Artist materials workshops
  • Drawing and painting sessions from the figure
  • Cooking classes
  • Cheesemaking workshop
  • Pizza-making workshop
  • Kids cooking classes
  • Wine appreciation and Sommelier Courses
  • Wine and olive oil tastings
  • Vineyard tours
  • Truffle hunting
  • Ballroom dance classes
  • Weekend excursions to flea markets and natural sites
  • Shopping excursions to cashmere and leather outlets, to Deruta famous for fine painted traditional ceramics, and antique stores
  • Overnight excursions to the sea and day-trips to Rome beaches
  • Hot air balloon tours
  • Hot springs excursions
  • Lake Trasimeno tours
  • Umbria abandoned castle and fortress tour
  • Sustainable farming tour 
  • Babysitting services
  • Soccer, archery, and horseback riding camps for kids
  • Motorized mountain bike rentals
  • Electric car rental 
  • Golf-cart tours of Rome and Florence
  • Hiking/naturalist guides to national/regional parks - mountain hiking available
  • Fishing/Hunting Excursions

Payment Options

  • Payment in full (€500 non-refundable deposit is included. No refunds will be issued within 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. See refund policy for more details).
  • Non-refundable €500 deposit (Balance due must be paid a minimum of 30 days prior to workshop).
  • Balance payment (after €500 deposit).

Required Forms

All ICA participants; whether coming independently, with a group or through a college / university, must provide the following completed forms and information to at least 2 weeks prior to attending their program. 
Emergency Contact & Medical Information »Liability Waiver »
Proof of Insurance / Travel Insurance
Itinerary and Passport
For detailed information and to download the required forms, please visit our Guides and Forms page.


Day 1 (Saturday May 27th)

  • Arrive Rome/Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) before 11:00 AM
  • ICA Bus Departs FCO at 12:00 PM
  • Arrival at Monte Castello di Vibio
  • 2:30 PM:Lunch/Orientation
  • 3:30- 6:00 Rest
  • 6:00 Tour of village followed by drinks on the square
  • 8:00 Dinner

Day 2 (Sunday May 28th)

  • Brunch, 11:00 AM
  • 12:30 PM Overview wines of Montefalco and tasting
  • 2:00 Depart for Montefalco, Cantine Aperte Festival

Day 3 (Monday May 29th)

  • 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Breakfast
  • 10:00 AM Depart for Marsciano for green market purchase materials for flavor wheel
  • 12:30 PM Return to Monte Castello
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Lunch
  • 2:30 PM- 5:30 PM Class: Flavor Wheel & Wine tasting 101
  • 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM Free Time or Local Winery visit
  • 8:00 PM Dinner

Day 4 (Tuesday May 30th)

  • 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Breakfast
  • 9:30 AM Depart for Orvieto scenic road, photo stop in Castle hamlet of Pardo
  • 11:00 Arrive Orvieto Tour of Duomo of Orvieto -Overview while driving of Orvieto
  • 1:00 Lunch in Orvieto
  • 3:00 PM Vineyard visit: Barbarani Vineyard (noble rot)
  • 7:00 PM Dinner at Castle of Titigano (
  • 9:00 PM Return to MC

Day 5 (Wednesday May 31St)

  • 7:30 AM Pastry and coffee
  • 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM Truffle hunt with master woodsman, Andrea Baccarotti
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Brunch buffet
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Break
  • 3:30 PM – 5:30 Class: “Wines and Wine Zones of Umbria: Overview and tasting”
  • 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM Free
  • 8:00 PM Dinner

Day 6 (Thursday June 1st)

  • 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Breakfast
  • 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM Class:Blind Tasting Seminar
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Lunch
  • 3:30 Depart for Passo del Palomba, tour of vineyard and olive orchard with Alessandro
    Gilotti, owner and olive oil sommelier, followed by a lecture on olive oil with tastings of
    oils and wines from Passo del Palomba
  • 7:30 Return from vineyard visit
  • 8:00 Dinner and Blind tasting

Day 7 (Friday June 2nd)

  • 7:00 Depart for Florence breakfast en route at Autogrill (not included)
    • Visit Italian Wine Bar to discover the wines of Tuscany
  • 6:30 Depart Florence
  • 8:00 Arrive Lake Trasimeno: spectacular sunset, typical dinner on the lake with wine tasting
  • 10:30 Return to MC
  • 12:00 Arrive MC

Day 8 (Saturday June 3rd)

  • Morning: Free
  • 11:00 AM Brunch
  • 1:00 – 2:30 Free
  • 2:30 Depart for MONTEFALCO - Arnaldo Carprai Vinery for vineyard tour and tasting
  • 6:30 return to Monte Castello
  • 8:00 PM: Farewell dinner

Day 9 (Sunday June 4th)

  • Depart 5:30 AM for Flights departing FCO after 11:00 AM

About Instructor

Jennifer Hornor

Jennifer’s passion for wine started while living in France and seeing the way wine brought people together. This led her to seek out a career in wine in Bordeaux, France where she experienced production first-hand working in a 3 rd growth winery in Margaux Chateau Cantenac-Brown.

A wine professional for more than 20-years, she’s worked for the legendary Mondavi in Napa Valley, and as an importer and educator of wines from around the world. She as forged relationships with top producers across Italy, most notably Tuscany, Umbria, Pedmont, Veneto and Sicily, across France in Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, among others.

Her teaching style is interactive, informative, and hands-on. She is a certified specialist in wine (CSW), who enjoys the history, art, and production of fine wine.

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