The Italian Food, Wine and Travel Group (#ItalianFWT) is spotlighting the wines of Orvieto. We have partnered with the Consorzio Tutela Vini Orvieto to share the soulful and unique wines of Orvieto from the various terroir of the area. Orvieto is renowned for its white wines, also poetically known as “the sun of Italy in a bottle”.
Orvieto is a historic and exquisite town in Umbria perched on a hilltop town. Having visited and tasted these wines over the years, I have always been drawn to the intrigue and depth of the wines of the region. It is a small region that is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. Orvieto wines represent its soulful culture, history and people. These are unique wines that represent the terroir and all the region has to offer.
Located in Umbria, Orvieto is smack in the middle of Italy. Within Umbria, Orvieto is on the southwestern side of Umbria and some of the vineyards overflow into neighboring Lazio. Out of Italy’s 20 wine regions, it is the only landlocked region of Italy making wine.
History of Orvieto
The richness of the people and culture of Orvieto go far back. Its history and origins begin in the Etruscan period and can be found as far back as the ninth century BC, about 3000 years ago. Here the Etruscans dug caves in the tuffaceous soils which are still intertwined amongst the vineyards and landscapes of the region. Subsequently, Orvieto became the wine of the Roman Empire and then of the Popes, who for a long time resided in the city.
In the center of town is the majestic Cathedral. The value and fame of Orvieto wines were so valuable that it was used to pay for the huge works of the Orvieto Cathedral. In more recent times it is reported that the wine of Orvieto was used by Garibaldi and his Thousand, before leaving the port of Talamone, to toast the Sicilian adventure.
In 1931, the production area of Orvieto was delineated and in 1971 the DOC Orvieto was formed. The wines are a blend of Grechetto and Procanico (Trebbiano Toscano). In addition, 40% of other white grapes can be blended into the wines; like Malvasia, Verdello, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and a local variety known as Drupeggio.
Traditionally Orvieto wines were made in an off-dry style, but due to evolving consumer preferences, the wines made today are mostly produced in a dry fashion. There are some really interesting off-dry and sweet wines made in the region like late harvest vendemmia tardiva and wines made with noble rot(muffo nobile). Typically the region is beloved for its white wines but they also produce exceptional reds made from Sangiovese (Rosso Orvietano DOC).
The unique pedological history of the region translates into unique wines. The region is formed in the Pleistocene epoch from what was the volcanic complex of the Vulsini Mountains that gave rise to Lake Bolsena nearby. The soils are made of Tufo, a porous rock formed by the consolidation of volcanic ash.
The diversity of the soils, combined with the variability of the Mediterranean climate, and the influence of the nearby rivers and lakes, all combine to give the wines great complexity as well as soulful characteristics based on the passion of the local winemakers.
Let’s Taste The Soulful & Unique Wines Orvieto
Castel Noha il Dialogo Orvieto 2019
This exciting wine had an energetic nose. It was fresh, crisp and intense. On the palate, I enjoyed citrus notes of grapefruits and lime with a hint of florals. The mouthfeel was filled with minerality and salinity. The perfect pairing for fried chicken or grilled fish.
Cantine Monrubio Papabile Orvieto Classico Superiore 2020
This Orvieto Classico Superiore is born from a collaboration with the world-famous oenologist Riccardo Cotarella and Monrubio. Papabile has a lovely pale straw yellow hue in the glass. I was drawn in by the nose of citrus, tropical fruit and peach notes. On the palate, you are invited in by the bright acidity that follows through with hints of pineapples and oranges. The texture is soft and savory. The perfect accompaniment for a classic spaghetti with clams or an omelet.
Paolo e Noemia d’Amico NOE Dei Calanchi Orvieto 2021
This highly drinkable wine has a beautiful straw yellow color in the glass. The nose initially perceives fruity hints of yellow peach and pineapple, which are enriched with citrus nuances and references to aromatic herbs. The taste is fresh and savory, characterized by strong mineral echoes. Pair it with seafood pasta or a light summer salad.
Cardèto Donna Armida Orvieto Classico Superiore Vendemmia Tardiva 2020
Cardeto is an exceptionally yummy late harvest wine that is made with a blend of Trebbiano 45%, Verdello 15%, and gGechetto 40%. It has a light golden yellow color and an intense, complex scent of ripe fruit and sweet spices. The palate was delicious with sweetness and fruity elegance. The acidity made this dessert wine exceptionally balanced. The grapes used are slightly dried out due to the late harvest and that gives the wine its natural sweetness. It is the perfect pairing with savory cheeses or paired with something lightly sweet like banana cream pie or homemade chocolate chip cookies.
**Photo Credits – Orvieto Consorzio**
See what my fellow wine writers have to say about Orvieto wines. Thank you Jennifer at Vino Travels for hosting this month and a special thanks to the Orvieto Consorzio for the samples
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm will be sharing “Umbrian Red Wine Spaghetti and a Book Review.”
Liz at What‘s In That Bottle is wondering “Why Aren’t we all Drinking more Orvieto?”
Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles will be writing about “Orvieto – the multifaceted white wine of Umbria.”
Lynn at Savor the Harvest will be focusing on “Appreciating an Ancient Italian Wine Made For Today’s Palate.”
Camilla at The Culinary Adventures of Camilla is “Celebrating Spring with Vignole + 2020 Barberani Castagnolo Orvieto Classico Superiore.”
Lisa at The Wine Chef is pairing “Umbria’s Famous White Wine, Paired With Spiced Pork Tenderloin.”
Nicole at The Somm’s Table will be featuring “Easy Springtime Dinners with Orvieto.”
Pinny at Chinese Food & Wine Pairings is uncovering “Orvieto White Wines – Hidden Treasures From Umbria.”
Linda at My Full Wine Glass is writing about “White wines from the heart of Central Italy.”
Susannah at Avvinare will be “Getting reacquainted with an old friend: Orvieto Wines.”
Rupal at Syrah Queen is sharing “The Soulful and Unique Wines of Orvieto.”
Gwendolyn at Wine Predator…Gwendolyn Alley is aiming to “Discover the Green Heart of Italy: Orvieto DOC in Umbria.”
Terri at Our Good Life is pairing “Slow Cooker Short Ribs and Elicius Orvietano Rosso: A Match Made in the Heavenly Stars.”
- Our host Jennifer at Vino Travels will be highlighting “Orvieto, Italy’s Classic White Wine.”