Last month I had the honor of joining a fantastic group of #winelovers for the first anniversary of the founding of the group #winelover. Although I could not make the entire conference, I was able to join from the 15th to the 17th in which time I got a better understanding of the Umbrian wine industry. I started with the master tasting led by Master of Wine Patrick Farrell MD where we tasted wines made from both Umbrian grapes and international grapes. I found that the wines made native grapes expressed the terroir much better than the international grapes. Riesling in Umbria makes no sense to me. But it seems that in Umbria, the fashion is to dig up vineyards of Umbrian grapes and plant the typical grapes like Chardonnay, and strangely, Riesling. I do have strong opinions about this, which I will publish on my wine blog at a later date. Suffice to say that the best wines of Umbria were those where tradition is valued. Sagrantino is a wonderful grape that makes age worthy wines that I want to drink for years to come.
On Saturday we had winery visits which also included towns such as Montefalco and Orvieto. Umbria is a great place to visit in Italy because it has a wonderful food and wine tradition but also has great cultural wealth, both in the modern -like the Tenuta CastelBuono winery-and the ancient. From Etruscan to Roman to Gothic to today, I think Umbria is a perfect location for those who want to combine cultural experiences with food and wine experiences. Truffles. That is all I need to say. Overall, I really great experience that helped me understand Umbrian wine and culture more. We’ve just added a food, wine and culture excursion to Orvieto from Rome. My advice? Skip Tuscany and enjoy Umbria.