WINE ROUTES IN TUSCANY AND UMBRIA
September and October are the perfect months of the year to travel along the Wine Route as it’s the time when the grape harvest takes place.
Tuscany is a land of excellent wines: from the famous Chianti to the praised Nobile of Montepulciano or the exquisite and precious Brunello of.
Moreover, visitors will be able to discover and taste many other types of wine during their stays in Villas, Countryside apartments and Hotels . Certainly, every owner would be eagerly expecting to share with their guests the wines proceeding from their own vineyards.
While travelling across Tuscany, you will surely find many signs indicating the different ways for the “Strada del Vino" as this an area where 14 wine routes converge.
Among all the wine routes from Tuscany, one of the most visited is that of Montepulciano area. This is one of the first in consolidating, with more than 10 years present in the region and offering the traveller the possibility of getting to know right away every single secret of one of the wines most widely tasted in Tuscany. The small and nice Montepulciano has been the setting of many famous films about Tuscany, such as Audrey Well’s “Under the Tuscan Sun” where the famous central square is shown during the celebration of the “Sbandieratori” (the art of flag throwing which dates back to medieval guilds).
Those who decide to take Montepulciano route will be able to get to this central square: the tourist information office found here gathers the latest news about wine tourism of the community and every single detail about the itineraries of the Strada del Vino.
Due to its central position in the region, other famous Strade del Vino with a vast number of followers are: La Strada del Vino Chianti Colii Fiorentini or La Strada del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano. As explained before, the region sums up to 14 Strade which offer a great variety of options for every traveller so that they all can enjoy no matter neither their exact location nor destination in Tuscany.
The following link in Italian shows further detailed information and maps of every Wine Route in Tuscany:
As in Tuscany, the region of Umbria is also well known for its wine routes. Among the most outstanding we can find the Sagrantino Route and its precious wine of Montefalco in first place. The Montefalco wine is probably one of the many unknown but greatest Italian wine; it was not up to recently that it has received the proper recognition it deserves. In 1971, a man from Umbria started elaborating dry red wine in large quantities, increasing in this way the importance of a class of grape not truly appreciated up to then by the wine sector.
The Sagrantino grape has been grown ever since immemorial times in Montefalco hills. There are two theories about its origins: on the one hand, Plinio the Old, historian and a great wine lover, is said to have taken the grape to that region, and on the other, a Franciscan monk from Minor Asia could have been the responsible for bringing this grape into the region.
The etymological origin of the term ‘Sagrantino’ comes from the word ‘sacrament’, as this has always been a grape used by the frays to elaborate the wine and consecrate it to its religious rituals.
The first official document which gathers information about vineyards in Montefalco dates back to 1088. From 18th century onwards, it starts gaining more and more importance, and it’s in 1925 during the Viticulture Exhibition of Umbria, when Montefalco is recognized as the most important wine-growing centre of the region.
The Wine Route of the Sagrantino grape starts from Montefalco and by following the itinerary some other important places can be visited: Bevagna, Castel Ritaldi, Giano dell’Umbria and Gualdo Cattaneo.
As a curious piece of data, the Sagrantino has no similarities at all with any other classes of grape. As a matter of fact, researches on this vineyards arrived to the conclusion that this is the species of grape richest in tannins known until present.
From September 17th to 20th, together with the grape harvest, the beautiful town of Montefalco celebrates the Sagrantino Wine Festival, an appointment dedicated to the precious local wines and a moment for all the wine producers of the area to gather together and share this ancient tradition.
For those thinking to travel to Umbria in the coming weeks, Montefalco could be an excellent starting point to discover the best kept secrets of this unique land.
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