Many people unfamiliar with the wines of Umbria, Italy’s only land-locked region located in the center of the country, think that only red wines are available there. Umbria does produce some excellent red wines, most of which feature the Sagrantino grape either alone or blended with other locally grown red grapes. Among the latter is Rosso di Montefalco, a blend of Sangiovese (60-70%), Sagrantino (10-15%) and any other locally grown red grape. My personal favorite is the 70/15/15 blend which I think is one of the best quality/value wines in Italy.
As good as the reds wines of Umbria are, though, there are notable white wines as well. The best known, and normally very reasonably priced white wine is Orvieto Classico. As I have written previously, Orvieto Classico today is different than in the past. Today, many producers have decreased the amount of Trebbiano in favor of using greater amounts of other grapes such as Chardonnay to produce a more elegant white wine.
The area of the Colli Martani DOC, including the town of Montefalco and surrounding towns, is also producing some excellent white wines. Located just outside of Montefalco is the winery of Antonelli San Marco. Owner Filippo Antonelli has been producing Trebbiano Spoletino for the past 12 years. Made from 100% Trebbiano Spoletino grapes grown on the estate, this wine, which I reviewed several years ago, is an excellent example of high quality white wine from Umbria. Signor Antonelli told me then that it was the winery’s best seller in New York.
If you move further north near the town of Cannara located in the Colli Martani DOC you will find the Di Filippo Winery, where Roberto Di Filippo produces some of the best Grechetto wines in the area. Using certified organic and biodynamic farming, Signor Di Filippo makes several Grechetto wines. My personal favorite is Sassi d’Arenaria, a 100% Grechetto Colli Martani DOC wine which has to be tried to be truly appreciated.
I love the red wines from Umbria but I also love the white wines. There are a number of other quality wineries in the area that offer their versions of these wines and I recommend you try these as well when you see them. If you visit this beautiful part of Umbria, you might want to take the short drive to Deruta, one of the top ceramic centers in Italy. There are many excellent artisan craftsmen there, but our favorite is the Nulli brothers, Rolando and Goffredo. We have purchased several items including the beautiful, hand made wine chiller pictured here.