Umbria is a seductive region in central Italy with many historic towns surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, making it a perfect destination for wine tourists. Home to a popular native red grape, Sagrantino, whose name derives from the Latin sacer to mean “sacred wine”, it’s grown alongside other Italian varieties like Sangiovese and Colorino. Yet don’t pass up their white wines, including world-famous Orvieto, produced by the medieval town.
Just a short drive from Umbria’s capital of Perugia, this family-run winery has been handing down viticulture techniques through four generations of the Goretti clan. They specialise in producing the region’s two vital reds, the Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG and the Montefalco Rosso DOC. Enjoy a wine tasting in their historic cellar or take to the skies for a helicopter tour over the estate for a birds-eye look at the vineyards and idyllic Umbrian countryside.
With stunning vineyard views in the shadows of Assisi and its famous cathedral, Basilica of St. Francis, SAIO is located only 800m from the Umbrian town and run by the Mencarelli family. Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Grechetto grapes are grown in the pebbly soil from Subasio Mountain with wine tastings on the veranda offering the best vista to try their six labels, including modern blends using Merlot and Cabernet. The SAIO winery is an unmissable stop if you plan to visit Assisi.
The Antinori family is one of Italy’s oldest wines makers, with their castle in Sala their only Umbrian estate. Here, they continue their tradition of fine winemaking aged in historic cellars that date back to the 16th century within a medieval fortress built in 1350. Surrounded by 170 hectares of vineyards planted on the hills of Monte Nibbio (that rise 470m above sea level), vines are grown in clay-rich soil exposed to sunny conditions ideal for grape production. With white grapes the focus, traditional varieties like Procanico and Grechetto create their Orvieto DOC, that are grown alongside Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and even Riesling.
Situated in the heart of the Montefalco area of Umbria, Antonelli San Marco has been in the Antonelli family since 1881 though the estate dates back to the 13th century. The 199-hectare farm features vines planted in the clay rich soils to produce Umbrian red wines, particularly Montefalco Sagrantino, which this region is renowned. Descend into their cellar to taste the exquisite wines made from organic farming techniques.
Nestled by the border of Tuscany between Rome and Florence, the castle of Montegiove dates back to the 1200s, and for the last 250 years, it has been the home to the Marquises Misciattelli. An expansive 1200-hectare estate in the countryside near Orvieto includes vineyards and working farmland focusing on red wine production that includes a Rosato (rose) of Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero and Montepulciano grapes, with an Orvieto Classico white wine also part of their fine wine production.
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