Nestled between Florence and Rome, on the Eastern border of Tuscany, sits the Italian region of Umbria. It is actually the only Italian wine region that doesn’t have a coastline and is completely landlocked, so the summers are quite dry and the winters are very rainy. As a whole, Umbria produces about 600-800 million liters a year, which is about one-third of the production in Tuscany.
Both red and white are produced here but within specific appellations. Orvieto is the place for white wines within Umbria – they’re considered some of the most valuable in the whole region! Grechetto and Trebbiano are the notable names, the first an herbal and rich grape that tend to be left on the vine for that late harvest sweetness. The second is a citrusy grape with high levels of acidity which is why the two are typically blended together. Orvieto produces 80% of Umbria’s total wine output.
Another notable wine in Umbria is the gorgeous Montefalco Sagratino, a brutally tannic red that has incredibly high levels of alcohol, rich fruit flavors, and a bright acidity. The Montefalco Sagrantino’s sweet little sister is the Montefalco Sagrantino Passito is made from Sagrantino grapes that have been dried for two months which creates a much drier sweet wine that is full of tannins, making it quite different from other dessert wines.
If you are a lover of the sweeter dessert wines, try the Muffato (if you can get your hands on it.) This late harvest white wine is made of Grechetto and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and comes with a golden color and palate of honey and jam.
The Torgiano Rosso Riserva is one of two DOCG wines in Umbria. It’s primarily composed of Sangiovese, along with Canaiolo and Trebbiano, and because it’s a Riserva, it’s been aged at least three years. For this beauty, the grapes must be sourced exclusively from the elevated parts of the vineyards of Torgiano, not the flatlands.
Although Umbria counts for only 2% of Italy’s total wine production, the wines here are truly outstanding. The region itself has the nickname “the green heart of Italy” because of its lush terrain, making it truly ideal for winemaking. The proof is in the bottle!
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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