Wine Tasting in Milan: 10 Places You Have to Try
Milan is the capital city of Italy’s Lombardy region and is best known for being the country's fashion capital. While the city is indeed a powerhouse in the fashion world, Milan has so much more to offer than just shopping destinations, fashion events and designer brands. Its proximity to northern Italy’s top vineyards makes it a hub for high-quality local wines – from the delicious Amarones from the wineries in the Valpolicella region to the Barbarescos sourced from the rolling hills of Piemonte.
Amid all the shopping in the design district, eating delicious Milanese cuisine, and visiting the city’s top attractions, there is a good chance that you’ll find yourself thirsty for some wine. Luckily, you don’t have to leave the city to sample the finest creations in the region; Milan is home to some incredible wine bars, shops and cellars where you can enjoy a glass or two for aperitivo or as an accompaniment for your meal.
Take a wine tour or a guided tour that offers a pairing of wine and food. A tour guide from Milan will teach you all you need to know! Imagine, a wine tasting tour as you meander along intimate streets in Milan. And fortunately, many excursions offer free cancellation with notice if your plans have to be changed.
With the variety of wine tasting options available in Milan, you might find it overwhelming to pick which winery you would like to visit first. Fortunately, we’ve done all the guesswork and put together this list of the top places for wine tasting in Milan.
And in case you still have the energy after having some wine, check out our guide on the best things to do at night in Milan for ideas on how to spend the rest of your evening. Before you browse these wine tours, look for a luggage locker in the city where you can safely store your bags. Dragging unneeded bags will only be a burden. Relax and enjoy the experience!
Address: Corso Magenta, 65, 20123
Located right across the Santa Maria delle Grazie church is Leonardo’s vineyard, whose history is more than enough reason to visit; as its name suggests, this famous vineyard was once owned by prominent Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci. In 1498, the vineyard was given to da Vinci by Ludovico Il Moro, who was then Duke of Milan as a gift after commissioning da Vinci to paint the iconic Last Supper.
After extensive research and restoration efforts, the same vines that da Vinci grew were replanted. Today, Leonardo’s vineyard is known to produce the Malvasia di Candia Aromatica wine variant. The only way to visit the facility is to join a guided tour of the vineyard, which includes the services of a local guide, a private tour of the grounds and the in-house museum, and a wine tasting session of the precious Malvasia harvested from the vineyard. Although it is not required, it is ideal to book tickets in advance to make sure that you get to visit on your preferred date.
La Cieca Enoteca
Address: Via Carlo Vittadini, 6, 20136
One of the most popular enotecas in Milan is La Cieca (which translates to “the blind” in English), a hole-in-the-wall trendy bar that boasts a small, well-curated list of Italian wines. Located near Bocconi University, the local bar is frequented by wine connoisseurs from all over the country to discover and sample their impressive wine selection. Visitors can do wine tastings of Italian vintages that they either picked themselves or were chosen by a professional sommelier.
However, for those who want a unique Milan wine tasting experience, La Cieca also offers an intriguing drinking game: ask for an anonymous wine (or alla cieca in Italian) and try to guess what kind you are drinking. If you can pinpoint the variety of grape region or the region where it originated, you get the glass free of charge; but if you successfully get the exact wine name and maker, they will give you a bottle for free. For those that want to further their knowledge about Italian wines, La Cieca also offers wine tasting courses available on different levels.
Address: Via Paolo Sarpi, 30, 20154
In operation since 1896, Cantine Isola is a true Milanese institution and one of the best places in the city for wine tastings. Located in the heart of Milan’s Chinatown, Cantine Isola is a small, no-frills establishment that has withstood the test of time and the ever-growing competition because of its unmatchable selection of iconic wines from Italy and different parts of the world; its repertoire includes top labels of Chianti Classico and Bordeaux, among others.
Proprietor Luca Sarais has extensive knowledge of wine and loves to share his passion with his clientele; Sarais acts as your personal sommelier and is more than willing to open even his most valuable bottles (like an Amarone or St-Emilion) for just a glass so his customers can discover some topnotch global and Italian wines. Furthermore, Cantine Isola also serves small bites of local delicacies that pair well with their wines.
Additionally, the wine bar also hosts a monthly event where they open an extremely rare bottle to share with all the attendees; the most valuable bottle that they have opened in this event is a Montrachet 1988 from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, one of the world’s most prominent and expensive wine production estates.
Vino Al Vino
Address: Via Gaspare Spontini, 11, 20131
Drinking wine is deeply ingrained in the Milanese culture, whether during lunch, for aperitivo, or until late in the night. Vino al Vino is a no-frills, authentic and rustic winery where you can enjoy a lovely Milan wine tasting experience. Even though the place is quite small in size, it more than makes up for it with its impressive selection; Vino al Vino (which translates to “wine to wine”) lives up to its name as its cellars are filled with over 600 labels of the best wines in the world.
For white wine lovers, you can choose from labels such as Riesling from the Moselle or the Loire Valley’s Chenin Black. If you prefer red labels, the shop also has French vintages like Burgundy or Italian wine from the vineyards of the Abruzzo region. Vino al Vino also serves food such as cold cuts and cheeses to go with your wine. Additionally, the winery organizes events and food and wine tastings throughout the year.
Address: Via Dante 15, 20123
Signorvino is a chain of retail wineries that has multiple locations across Milan and Italy; the winery is dedicated to promoting a culture of wine tasting and appreciation, especially among the younger generation. While there are a number of shops across the city, perhaps their most popular branch is the one in central Milan. Situated within the Centro Storico, the three-story building is within walking distance of some of the city's iconic landmarks, such as the Duomo di Milano, Castello Sforzesco and the Scala Theater.
The winery has become somewhat of a meeting point for the young crowd for aperitivo. At Signorvino, you can find a wide range of affordable wines sourced from all over Italy. Additionally, the wine shop is known for its delicious food, including hot dishes, platters, Italian breads, and salads that go well with wine. If you are unsure of what to order, you can get some pairing tips from their friendly staff. If you want to drink at home or need a gift, you can also buy a bottle at the wine shop on the first floor.
N’ombra De Vin
Address: ViaVia San Marco 2, Brera District 20121
N’ombra de Vin is set in the 16th-century Augustine dining hall San Marco Basilica and is one of the best places in the city for an unforgettable wine experience. The basement wine bar, which is located in the heart of the Brera neighborhood, boasts a vast collection of over 3,000 bottles of wine to choose from. The laidback atmosphere and prestigious range of labels have made N'ombra de Vin one of the most popular Italian wine tasting spots in Milan.
Apart from the bottle selection, the wine bar also has over 30 labels that can be bought by the glass; each glass of wine is served with delicious foods such as pizza and local cheeses. N’ombra de Vin also has a limited menu filled with small bites of food, including Italian cheeses and smoked tuna tartare, to name a few.
La Cieca Pink
Address: Via Pier Lombardo, 9, 2013
Brought by the team behind the already established La Cieca Enoteca is La Cieca Pink, a tiny winery located just a stone’s throw away from the Teatro Franco Parenti. Similar to its “cousin”, this wine bar is known for its specially curated selection of rare labels and valuable Italian wines that are regularly swapped out due to the many visitors who come here daily.
In line with its name, La Cieca Pink’s most distinctive feature is that it only sells a specific variant of wine by the glass – rosé. Additionally, the winery also serves some local dishes and small bites of food to pair with their glasses of wine, including cold cuts and cheeses. The staff at La Cieca Pink is also extremely friendly and helpful; the sommelier is more than willing to help and give advice to newcomers who might not know yet what kind of wines they like.
Address: Viale Beatrice d'Este 48, 20122 Milan
Undoubtedly one of the most unique wineries in Milan, El Buscia has two locations in Milan and is a must-visit for “bubble lovers”. The contemporary wine bar got its name from the phrase el vin che buscia, which translates to spumante or “sparkling wine” in Milanese dialect; true to its name, El Buscia’s repertoire consists solely of sparkling wines sourced from different parts of Italy and the world.
El Buscia is a moderately-sized winery with minimalistic interiors, making it the perfect wine destination for a small group or couples going out on dates. The bar offers varieties of champagne and some of the premium spumante sourced from the Trentodoc or Franciacorta regions in Italy, which are known for their sparkling wine production.
Address: Via Salasco, 21, Milan
Vinodormo is one of the city’s hidden gems worth seeking if you want to have a memorable food and wine experience in Milan. Located along Via Salasco, just a short distance from Bocconi University, the beloved local restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine and a variety of drinks. However, most guests come here to taste one of the 500 different wine labels to choose from, both local and international.
If you have friends who are non-wine drinkers, Vinodromo also serves other alcoholic beverages such as gin and champagne. In addition, Vinodromo hosts and organizes a number of food and wine tasting events throughout the year, where guests can learn about and sample the featured bottles and food.
Vinoir (Vini d'autore e Cucina)
Address: Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 93b, 20143
Established in 2012 as a winery with a bookstore, Vinoir has gone on to become one of the most prominent wineries in Milan. Situated just a short distance from the bustling Naviglio Grande, this food and wine bistro is known for stocking only natural and organic wines.
At Vinoir, all “conventional” bottles have been removed from their selection; instead, their collection of over 500 labels of artisanal wines are all produced using biodynamic methods. More than their impressive selection, Vinoir is also known for serving tasty local dishes, such as the ossobuco and Mondeghili (Milanese meatballs), that pair well with their drinks.
Italian Wine and More
Wine tasting in Milan is one of the most fun and interesting activities that you can do during your time in the city. The aforementioned wineries, wine bars and cellars offer some of the finest bottles sourced both locally and internationally. If you are staying in Milan for a couple of days, be sure to see as much as you can. Check out this itinerary on how to spend 3 days in Milan; this includes everything from visiting the amazing places within the city to day trips to nearby regions.