You’re in for a treat this month as our Italian Food, Wine and Travel (#ItalianFWT) group highlights the wines of the Orvieto wine appellation in Umbria. When I had an opportunity last year to taste through a number of these wines for a virtual wine tasting I knew it would be a great theme when deciding themes with the group for 2022. Luckily, we partnered with the Consorzio Tutela Vini Orvieto to sample a number of wines across their terroir to share with you today.
The Area ~ Orvieto
Umbria is a region in central Italy that is just to the east
of Tuscany and is the only landlocked region throughout all of Italy. The town and wine appellation, Orvieto, is
located in the southwestern edge of Umbria bordering the region of Lazio. If you’ve never been to Umbria it’s a
must. It’s known as the green heart of
Italy due to its lush forests and hills.
Within these landscapes are black truffle treasures and olive oil
groves. Folks always think to flock to
Tuscany, but with only about 1/3 of the population of Tuscany you can find much
peace among such beauty.
The Etruscans and Umbri were the first to make wines in Orvieto. The Etruscans built this hilltop town with caves dug out underground through the tufo landscape. If you visit the area you can visit a museum in town and get to experience these underground caves and ancient artifacts. The Duomo located in town is the focal point built in the 14th century of beautiful tufo and travertine marble.
The climate of Orvieto is continental and there are many waterways that influence the area including Lago Corbara and Lago Bolsena on the Lazio side. There is also the 3rd longest river in Italy, the Tevere, that has many tributaries running off of it including Paglia that run through the area.
|Marine sedimentary clay and sand soils
|Shells in the soils of Orvieto
The Orvieto DOC
The Orvieto DOC was established in 1971 and regulates the
wines of the area are made from only white wines. They are red wines and sparkling wines that
exist in Orvieto, but are not allowed to be bottled under the Orvieto DOC. The designated land is mostly within Umbria,
but a small piece crosses over into Lazio.
Although, the majority of the wine is made in the historic part of
Orvieto in the Orvieto Classico area. Two
cooperatives dominate the production of the area by 70% with smaller wine
estates on the rise.
The primary grapes that make up the white wines of Orvieto
are Grechetto di Orvieto, Grechetto di Todi and Procanico. Orvieto DOC wines must contain at least 60%
of these grapes. The remaining 40% can
include some of the secondary grapes including Verdello, Drupeggio and Malvasia
along with international grapes including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and
Vermentino. The Orvieto white wines can
vary from dry, off-dry (abboccato), late harvest (amabile and dolce) to muffa
nobile known also as noble rot (dolce).
Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing the wines I received
I have to postpone until hopefully next week.
I came down with a nasty virus Monday night that left me couch bound for
a couple days and then finished with losing my senses on Friday. Not the best situation for tasting wine. Make
sure to check back in for updates to not miss out.
Join the rest of our writers as they delve into the wines of
Orvieto with some suggested pairings. We’d
love to have you join our live Twitter chat this Saturday at 11am EST at
#ItalianFWT. Hope to see you there!
I want to send a big thank you to Enzo Barbi and Tanya Morning Star Darling for their collaboration with this event and the wines and information they have shared with us to share with you. For a look into the Orvieto wines from my prior tasting follow here, "What you need to know about the Wines of the Orvieto DOC" and "Meet the Producers of Orvieto".