Some visit wineries because they are true aficionados, but many — if not most — are simply curious about the wine-making process and the culture and people behind it. In short, they are looking for an enjoyable day with some nice wine thrown in. There’s nothing wrong with that! If you recognise yourself in this description, here are three wineries that offer something beyond the tasting room and cellar...
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/saioassisi
This small family winery in the plain under Assisi is relatively new: the vineyards are still young and the converted farmhouse housing their modern tasting room was restored in 2005. That said, they already attract their share of visitors both for the quality of their wines and for the warm and welcoming reception of the Mencarelli family, who have gone to great lengths to make their mom-and-pop cantina a destination in itself. Saio's labels are inspired by the famous arches on Assisi's Basilica di San Francesco. Aside from the basic tour and tasting, Saio offers three unique ways of visiting their winery that combine the passion for wine with the passion for the outdoors.
From Vine to Glass: An informal, user-friendly vintner course, in which guests learn basic cultivation and pruning techniques along with their tour and tasting, and finish with a certificate declaring them “apprentice wine growers”.
Hiking Among the Vines: From the farmhouse, a 2.5 km walking path (they provide you with a map and explanations of each variety of grape), winds its way through the vineyards and olive groves and offers a beautiful vantage point for viewing Assisi perched on the hill above. Finish your stroll back at the starting point with a tasting and chat with the family.
Picnic Among the Vines: Along the walking path, the Mencarellis have built two pretty picnic gazebos, and they will provide you a quaint wicker basket (you can either take it along on your hike, or they will deliver it to you at lunchtime) stuffed with local cheeses and charcuterie, traditional flatbread, biscotti…and wine, of course.
The amazing Pomario Winery is located in the province of Perugia near Monteleone di Orvieto, on the border between Tuscany and Umbria. Respecting the environment and maintaining ecological balances have been the guidelines that led to the building of the new Pomario winery. Created from the renovation of a former tool shed, this winery keeps the farmhouse style, and, where possible, the original materials have been reused. The processing systems are equipped with modern environmentally friendly systems for the control of essential parameters for the production of high-quality wines. Originally there was only one hectare of vineyard located in the highest part of the property with old varieties of Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Malvasia. The biodiversity present in the old vineyard was very important and, in the first years of operations, Susanna and Giangiacomo Spalletti Trivelli have pledged to recover all the plants by vigorous pruning and careful restoration. Today, three hectares of vineyard are cultivated with Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Malvasia with the addition of 3000 square meters of a clone of Bordeaux Merlot. Wine lovers can enjoy guided tours of the winery, walks in the vineyards and the olive grove and taste organic wines and olive oils, including a free tasting.
Di Filippo winery, resting on sun-drenched hills between Torgiano and Montefalco, in the heart of Umbria. The Di Filippo family has been a part of the history of this corner of Umbria. Italo Di Filippo gave life to a company which has become a symbol of the region. The 30 hectares of vineyards are ideally located on sunny hillsides midway between Torgiano and Montefalco. The splendid town of Assisi lies on the other side of the valley, yet seems to embrace the vineyards as their protector. With a tradition of cultivation which respects nature, the Di Filippo family strongly believes in the need to find a constant balance between man, soil, flora, and fauna. As a result, they adopt organic cultivation which respects the laws of biodynamic farming.
Passion, respect, and love are the three forces which drive the Di Filippo family in their daily lives beside the vineyards. Passion for their work, respect for the soil and love for the family tradition of cultivating the vineyards from which they produce wines that express the nature of the soil. Visiting wine lovers will discover the Di Filippo family's passion for the land, the vineyards and the wine. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Assisi, the peace of the location, and the style with which you are invited to try the Di Filippo wines and fully appreciate the atmosphere and philosophy of a slow way of life.
Lungarotti is synonymous with Torgiano, the region which gave birth to Umbrian wine. Over the years, Lungarotti has won numerous awards for its wines, olive oil, hospitality and sustainability practices.
Culture has been the driving force of the Lungarotti Group since the early 60's when Giorgio Lungarotti's determination to improve the quality and prestige of his increasingly successful wine production met the passion for the culture of Maria Grazia Lungarotti, an art historian and archivist. Together they gave life to a project that was both ambitious and far-reaching, and in 1974 the Wine Museum was born. A visit to the Wine Museum is a must, as here you can discover a world-class private collection of historical artefacts that document wine civilization.
You can also visit their Olive and Oil Museum, which opened in 2000, to learn about the origins and mythology of the olive, its use as a source of light and in religion, medicine, nutrition, sport, cosmetics, and heating.
Roccafiore Cellar’s wines are not a simple oenological proposal, but the result of perfect synergy between the land, microclimate and vines, valid interpretation of the country and rediscovery of traditional practices. The care for the soil and the ancient ecological balances of Todi’s territory is the base for the research of excellence, the highway through which nature becomes choiceness. The philosophy of the production of Roccafiore’s wines is, in fact, oriented at the research of authentic quality, from the vineyard to the cellar. The strictly organic vine-growing is aimed at the physiological balance of plants, which in Roccafiore perfectly interact with the environment: here the sun, rain and wind are perfectly balanced to favour the cultivation of the most precious grapes, thanks to the careful work of expert agronomists who wisely combine tradition and innovation. At the Roccafiore winery you can experience a wine tasting, a guided tour in the vineyards and the cellar, or the more adventurous a "safari" that takes you off-road to discover the vineyards and farming of pigs Cinta "Jurassic Pork."