Hotel Restaurant PerugiaUmbria has always been known for the excellence of its food and wine. Wine and olive oil is one of the symbols of our fertile region which we love sharing with visitors.
From “L’Olivino – Cultura del vino, della vite, dell’olio e dell’olivo” – 2012:
“The favorable conditions for viticulture have been such that, since ancient times, the inhabitants of Umbria have been producing wine. Numerous archaeological artifacts tell us that the Etruscans and the Umbri, who lived on opposite sides of the Tiber River in ancient times, were devoted to viticulture well before the arrival of the Romans, even if the first real thrust came with the Romans. In fact it was near Orvieto even today one of the most interesting wineproducing areas of Umbria that daily shipments of wine were sent to the market in Rome, largely destined for the papal court. The vines were joined to a tree, usually an elm or a maple. Thanks to this system called tutore vivo, or “living support” instead of being pruned the grapes fell freely to the ground. Even today it’s not hard to see the Roman influence in many old rows of trees, where the pruned elm (in Umbria we say “stucchio”) holds up the vines alternating with olive trees. Viticulture in Umbria has been rather traditional from ancient times up until very recently. It used mainly mixed cultivation, but today the fixtures are much more logical and have been converted to single cultivation.
Recently, thanks to the reevaluation of native grapes, the techniques have been increasingly perfected with the scope of increasing appreciation of them.
Here are some of the most important native white and red grapes:
- Grechetto: a native grape even if the name recalls the Greco variety, diffused all over the region and often unmixed. Around Todi, its use over the centuries has led to the birth of a native grape called Grechetto di Todi.
- Verdello: widely produced mostly in the Orvieto area.
- Drupeggio: another grape found mostly near Orvieto.
- Trebbiano: this grape is important in Umbria and has given birth to the Perugia Trebbiano and the Spoleto Trebbiano.
- Procanico: in Orvieto, this is the name given to Trebbiano.
- Malvasia: present in nearly every region, near Amerino it is produced in purity.
- Sagrantino: a native grape grown near Montefalco where they produce one of the most esteemed red wines.
- Sangiovese: the king of the Italian grapes, even in Umbria it’s essential to nearly all the denominations which are produced in purity.
- Ciliegiolo: generally used to produce young and perfumed wines, near Terni it is particularly widespread and known as the Ciliegiolo di Narni.
- Gamay del Trasimeno: a distant relative of the international variety from France, the “Gamay of the Lake” is quite different than its French cousin.”
In our region there are myriad itineraries which run along the four Wine Roads (Strade del Vino) Strada del Cantico, Strada del Sagrantino, Strada dei Colli del Trasimeno, Strada Etrusco Romana.
The Wine Roads are protected areas for viticulture which, through the recovery of rural traditions, safeguard the social and enogastronomic heritage of the region.
The Wine Roads give life to the rural districts, enhancing typical products along with wines, as well as art, culture and local crafts. Thanks to these associations you can get to know Umbria through its fruits and excellent wines. The Wine Roads, as mentioned above, organize tours and enogastronomic excursions.
The Movimento Turismo del Vino (Wine Tourism Movement), begun in 1993, is a nonprofit association counting about 1000 of the most prestigious wineries in Italy, selected on the basis of specific requirements. First among them is the warmth of their reception.
With constant commitment, the MTV hopes to enlarge the field of wine tourism in Italy, which represents a fundamental economic resource for the development of regions and an effective tool for preserving the environment.
The MTV is present in Umbria with 61 associated wineries as well as the Coordinamento delle strade del vino e dell’olio dell’Umbria (Coordination of the wine and oil roads of Umbria.)
MUVIT Wine - Museum of Torgiano
The brainchild of Giorgio Lungarotti and curated by his wife Maria Grazia Marchetti, the Wine Museum is located in the 16th century palace Graziani Baglioni in the center of Torgiano. Not to be missed by those interested in art, culture and the good life who want to find out more about the history and culture of wine.
With its enchanting collections, rigorous historical research and the museum’s layout and design, the Wine Museum of Torgiano adds to the dissemination of knowledgeable wine drinking.
There are over 2800 artifacts spread throughout 20 rooms including ceramics, visual art, ancient writing samples and other artistic evidence documenting the importance of wine in Mediterranean culture. Its history, culture, rapport with food, medicinal uses, myth begin in the third millennium B.C.E. and continue until today.
The material is arranged thematically. The visit begins with a brief overview of the Middle Eastern origins of viticulture and its expansion into the Mediterranean basin (Room I). Various archaeological finds are on display which go from the Bronze Age to late antiquity, among which is a kylix (an ancient Greek cup with shallow bowl and stem) attributed to the Phrynos Painter of the Little masters group, active in Athens around 550 BCE. In Rooms II to VII Umbrian winemaking techniques are detailed. The yearly viticultural cycle and the traditional techniques are documented by a noteworthy selection of tools and implements of the trade. Of particular interest is the section on the social life of winedrinking.
In the basement there is a large room used for winemaking, including large presses, stills, a cauldron, a bottler and terracotta vases. In one room (VI) there is a detailed account of the different steps used in making Vino Santo, a dessert wine which in Umbria is historically drunk in celebration of holidays and lifecycle events. Room VII is dedicated to the various jobs connected to winemaking (bottlers, blacksmiths, ropemakers, basketweavers, etc…) and includes a large array of tools. Room VII is dedicated to the regulation of harvesting times and the use and commerce of wine, at which point visitors enter two rooms (IXX) specifically dedicated to the handcrafts and winemaking traditions of Torgiano.
In the subsequent rooms (XIXV) attention is focused on a large collections of ancient ceramic wine vessels from the most famous wineproducing areas of Italy.
The thematic arrangement divides the ceramics into three groups: “wine as food” (measures, bottles, etc.), “wine as medicine” (mortars, pestles, pharmaceutical vases, unguentary vases, majolica jars, etc.) and “wine as myth” (illustrated vases, including works of master Giorgio Andreoli; plastic models, including a bust of Bacchus attributed to Girolamo Della Robbia and symbolic decorations largely inspired by the enigmatic figure of Bacchus/Dionysis). In Room XVI it’s possible to to admire the eminent collection of ferri da cialda (similar to a waffle iron), used to prepare the thin cookies which were eaten with Vin Santo. A rich collection of engravings and drawings inspired by Dionysus follows (Room XVII), including nearly 600 works by such artists as Mantegna, Carracci, Guttuso and Picasso. Finally there is a room dedicated to wineinspired bookplates (Room XVIII). The visit ends with an exhibition of books and treatises on wine as well as wine almanacs (Room XIX).