Wines of the Umbria Region
As for the other Italian regions, Umbria too has its glorious wine-growing past, and among the Roman testimonies, Virgilio and Plinio speak of the "Apianae grapes", particularly dear to the extruschi. But more concrete signs about the cultivation and production of wine are provided by the rich pottery used to contain the wine, found in the Etruscan tombs. Historical vines such as Greco di Todi (today Grechetto), date back to the time of Italian unification, while in the Middle Ages it was mainly the Cistercian and Benedictine monastic orders that gave greater impetus to the thriving viticulture.
Towards the middle of the sixteenth century also the "Sucano" wine produced in Orvieto appears, a land particularly suited, as was also known to Pope Paul III, who considered the red wines that were produced there even then: "perfect both for the winter, as for the state. " Originally, the Orvieto was a sweet wine obtained in cold tuff cellars whose low temperatures prevented its complete fermentation, leaving a substantial sugar residue in the wine, and yet towards the end of the 16th century the wine of Orvieto was bottled and enriched with characteristic straw flasks.
So, for centuries, Umbria wine has been identified in Orvieto wine even if the foundation of centers such as Torgiano and Castel Grifone is linked to the development of Umbrian wine and oil production. But it is in more recent times, since 1930, thanks to the foresight of some winemakers, that other excellent appellations have joined the region, despite the devastating consequences suffered by vineyards due to phylloxera.
Climate, Territory and Cultivation systems of the vine
Umbrian wines enjoy particular quality advantages that derive from the soil and climatic characteristics of the production areas. The hills are favored by good sun exposure, by a natural hydrographic network that provides the soil with the right amount of humidity, especially in the areas of Torgiano and the Colli Martani, and by the continental climate, characterized by cold winters and hot, dry and windy summers .
The territory of the wine areas of Torgiano, Montefalco, Amelia and the Colli Perugini, mainly consists of Calcareous soils which favor the cultivation of the Sangiovese and Sagrantino vines from which the great Umbrian red wines for aging are obtained. In the Orvieto area, Marnoso-Tufacei soils with volcanic sediments are more ideal for the cultivation of Grechetto and Chardonnay vines from which wines with a marked flavor are obtained.
The most common vine growing systems in Umbria are Guyot and low spurred cordon.