A couple of weeks ago with snow still sitting on the tops of the hills I ventured out from Bellaugello Gay Guest House and headed south of Perugia to follow the Sagrantino Road.
This road rolls meanders through soft hills and valleys littered with vines, and passes through enchanting towns with names such as Torgiano, Cannara, Bettona, Bevagna and Montefalco, all home to wonderful wines produced here in Umbria.
My motives were twofold. For readers of my blog you will be aware that I have taken over a vineyard here in Valdichiascio, and we are aiming to produce our own wine. Next month the pruning of the vines is done, I have found local help to instruct me in this – oenology and viticulture is new to me, so it seemed a good idea to take a sneak preview of how the professionals prune and maintain their vines.
The second reason was for me to firm up on the wine tours and tastings we will be offering this summer from Bellaugello. I have chosen to visit three Cantine in this region; The first a wine grower who started as recently as 1980 and is producing some exceptional internationally acclaimed wines, he believes in minimum intervention, so his wines can vary from bottle to bottle. The second cantina is another family run business, this time the family have been producing fine Sagrantinos for generations, a very traditional winegrower and warmly welcoming cantina.
The third cantina is famous for its production of Bio ecological wines, from the light to deep intense. So nice drive or if we are a group a minibus tour along the Strada del Sagrintino tasting wines from three very different vineyards. You guys will have two very different opportunities this year, advice on visiting vineyards and where to taste, along edge Sagrantino road, and/or the chance to help with the vendemmia here in Valdichiascio, the grape harvest. It will be a valley affair, the more I talk about it the more locals I find want to be involved, are offering me advice and tools, and want to help pick grapes, which we will do by hand, it is a small local vineyard, but with space to set up tables for a large lunch in the vineyard……