As is often said "Good things come in small packages" and this is certainly true of the Umbrian wine region; Italy’s fourth smallest region which produces only a third of the wine that Tuscany does. Umbria connects history, people, nature, civilizations and traditions and is deeply rooted in ancient farming cultures. This is a land known for its heady fragrances, the simplicity of its cuisine and its deep genuine flavours. The land of olive oil and wine roads with 22 sites recognized as the most beautiful villages in Italy and 9 “Orange Flag” award villages which represent an eco-tourist award for small towns that represent sustainable tourism. What inspires people to visit Umbria and to come back time...
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As is often said "Good things come in small packages" and this is certainly true of the Umbrian wine region; Italy’s fourth smallest region which produces only a third of the wine that Tuscany does.

Umbria connects history, people, nature, civilizations and traditions and is deeply rooted in ancient farming cultures. This is a land known for its heady fragrances, the simplicity of its cuisine and its deep genuine flavours. The land of olive oil and wine roads with 22 sites recognized as the most beautiful villages in Italy and 9 “Orange Flag” award villages which represent an eco-tourist award for small towns that represent sustainable tourism.

What inspires people to visit Umbria and to come back time again, is the opportunity to head off on a journey that utilises the five senses. In Umbria you are privy to see rare beauty, hear forgotten noises and sounds, touch the treasures of distant civilizations, smell the various fragrances of changing seasons and most important taste and savour the food and the wine. There are few places such as Umbria where you can find the best cultural expressions of the past and the present with the utmost respect for a natural environment with precious gems like Trasimeno Lake, the Clitunno Springs, the Marmore Waterfalls and the Castelluccio Plains.

WHEN TO GO AND FOR HOW LONG?

Umbria can be visited any time of the year (wineries stay open all year round), however from April to October, is the best time to experience a wine tour as the vineyards are in their growing season.

If you go in late June, you must visit the "Flowering" in the Castelluccio Plains which happen only at this time of the year. This magnificent natural event attracts thousands of tourists each year and consists of simultaneous blooming of dozens of flowers that create a multicolour flower carpet covering the whole of the valley. Summer time is full of events including medieval festivals and typical town festivals where food and wine are the main attraction. The “Infiorata” at Spello, which falls on the day of Corpus Domini, decorates the streets of the city with multi-coloured floral compositions. Nearby in Bevagna, a similar festival the “Mercato delle Gaite” takes place in late June and aims to re-create its medieval past. In November, a new vintage of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is released, providing a great opportunity for tourists to visit the olive oil makers and wineries, which often produce olive oil themselves too.

Wine and food lovers should consider visiting the region for at least 3 days with a base between the Perugia and Montefalco areas. Time permitting, 5 days are strongly recommended with two nights in Orvieto and three nights in the Perugia or Montefalco area.

WHERE TO GO?

There are four officially recognized wine road itineraries in Umbria which are important guides for discovering the vineyards, villages and cultural aspects of Umbria.

  • The "Sagrantino" wine road will allow you to get acquainted with the Italian indigenous red grape variety Sagrantino, known as the Umbrian king grape. Nowadays the wines here can boast DOCG status. The five towns where Sagrantino grapes are cultivated are the beautiful villages of Montefalco, Bevagna, Giano dell’Umbria, Castel Ritaldi and Gualdo Catteneo.
  • Along the "Cantico Hills" wine road you can find Torgiano, one of Italy's most picturesque villages, also considered the heart of Umbria's winemaking tradition. In Torgiano, a visit to the Wine Museum, is highly recommended. Cities such as Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Bettona, Massa Martana, Todi, are along this dedicated road.
  • The "Trasimeno Hills" wine road is an area of soft-rolling hills around the Trasimeno Lake; a popular route with cyclists. On this trail you can discover some of the prettiest borghi (villages) in Italy, such as Castiglione del Lago, Panicale, Magione, Passignano sul Trasimeno and Tuoro.
  • The oldest wine area in Umbria is part of the "Etruscan-Roman" wine road where vineyards have been planted for over 2,500 years. Among some of the places to look out for are the landscapes of Orvieto and Corbara Lake, the chapel of St.Brizio, the spectacular Cathedral of Orvieto and the beautiful Calanchi mountains that lay on the border with Lazio.

DON'T MISS!

  • The last Sunday of May marks the Cantine Aperte event. Wineries are open for free wine tastings, so it's the perfect time to enjoy wine, food and music in the sun surrounded by vineyards.
  • Experience the fantastic atmosphere of the Umbria Jazz festival that takes place in Perugia every summer in July. For 10 days you can participate in concerts all day round until well into the evening.
  • Don’t miss a very unique and incredibly enjoyable cooking class with Salvatore Denaro at Arnaldo Caprai winery in Montefalco.
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