Umbria in summer: view of a small town on a hillUmbria in summer: view of a small town on a hill

New self-confidence

Castello della Sala

The main site of the Castello della Sala winery, which belongs to the Antinori family dynastyThe main site of the Castello della Sala winery, which belongs to the Antinori family dynasty

Antinori’s white and red highlights from Umbria – have you tried them yet?


Cotarella

Sunset at the Cotarella winery in UmbriaSunset at the Cotarella winery in Umbria

Today, the Cotarella brothers’ winery is firmly – and successfully – in the hands of women.


Falesco

View over the vineyards of Tenuta Falesco in UmbriaView over the vineyards of Tenuta Falesco in Umbria

A characterful pearl of a red wine from the Umbrian winery Famiglia Cotarella.

Lovers of nature and culture are sure to get their money’s worth in Umbria. And this tranquil region in central Italy is becoming increasingly assertive when it comes to wine.

Umbria is the green heart of Italy. It is one of the very few regions that do not have access to the coast. Yet the visitor will not miss it. Dark forests, tranquil lakes, majestic monasteries and hermitages characterise the land. The Umbrians have always had a very special relationship with nature. It is no coincidence that St Francis of Assisi, who was born here, was said to be able to communicate with animals.

Big brother Tuscany

Umbria’s vineyards extend over 16,000 hectares. For a long time, Umbrian viticulture was overshadowed by neighbouring Tuscany. The two growing regions are similar in terms of soil and climate. Sangiovese is the most important grape variety in both of them. But it was not until the 1970s, when its Tuscan neighbour had long since conquered the world markets, that Umbria took its own first steps towards quality viticulture. Three key figures helped to move the wine region forward.

The pioneer of the Umbrian wine scene was undoubtedly Giorgio Lungarotti. In the late 1970s, he created Torgiano, a red wine named after the village bearing the same name, which today has its own docg. Based on Sangiovese, it is complemented by other varieties such as Canaiolo and Montepulciano. Curiously, Lungarotti is the only producer of this powerful, silky top wine.

Marco Caprai is the second protagonist. The son of Arnaldo Caprai, who founded the estate, he began championing Sagrantino di Montefalco in the 1990s. Sagrantino is an old local grape that came close to extinction in the 1960s. Caprai was the first to demonstrate how powerful, spicy and long-lived the wines produced by this grape variety can be. It comes into its own in the Mediterranean climate of Montefalco. Its flavour is compared to Brunello and its tannins to those of Barolo.

An Italian monument to white wine

Not least, one of Italy’s monuments to white wine comes from Umbria: the Cervaro della Sala. It would be difficult to find a better white wine in all of Italy! In 1985, the Castello della Sala estate, owned by the Tuscan wine dynasty Antinori, pressed this barrel-aged top wine for the first time, consisting of Chardonnay and a hint of Grechetto. The oenologist behind it is Riccardo Cotarella. He is the CEO of the Antinori empire, but he has also been active as a winemaker in Umbria since 1979. Together with his brother Renzo, he runs the Falesco winery, which has since become one of Umbria’s top wineries.

In addition to these big names, Umbria is known for Orvieto. In the past, these were thin, often sweet mass-produced wines made from the fairly neutral Trebbiano grape. Today, however, specimens with flavour and substance can be found.

From black truffle to chocolate truffle

Umbrian cuisine is simple and flavoursome. Among the most popular Umbrian products are sausages made from pork and wild boar, positively bursting with flavour. The reason: the animals are fattened up on acorns. Black truffles from Norcia are also famous. In Perugia, on the other hand, people indulge their love of chocolate. This is where the world-famous Baci, chocolates filled with hazelnuts, were invented.

Umbria boasts both natural and cultural attractions: from Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis with its UNESCO-listed basilica, to the Cascata delle Marmore, the highest waterfall in Europe. The Romans built it in 290 BC to divert water from the Velino River. It plunges 165 metres to the depths below in three stages.

docg areas in Umbria

Sagrantino di Montefalco, Torgiano Rosso Riserva

doc areas in Umbria

Amelia, Assisi, Colli Altotiberini, Colli del Trasimeno, Colli Martani, Colli Perugini, Lago di Corbara, Montefalco, Orvieto und Orvieto Classico, Rosso Orvietano, Spoleto, Todi, Torgiano

Key producers

Arnaldo Caprai, Castello della Sala – Marchesi AntinoriCotarella, Bigi, Falesco, Lungarotti

Wines from Umbria
  1. - +
    Italy, Umbria
    2023
    80 % Sauvignon blanc, 20 % Sémillon

    75 cl
    Conte della Vipera – Umbria igt, Castello della Sala
    CHF29.00
  2. - +
    Italy, Umbria
    2023
    100 % Chardonnay

    75 cl
    Bramìto – Umbria igt, Castello della Sala
    CHF22.50
  3. - +
    Italy, Umbria
    2023
    Procanico, Grechetto

    75 cl
    Campogrande – Orvieto doc classico, Santa Cristina
    CHF9.50
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