The Beginner’s Guide to Umbrian Wines
Due to the complexity of the region, there is not something that could be called a classic Umbrian wine, but there are key markers and indigenous grape varieties that give Umbrian wine its identity. In terms of white wine types, Orvieto DOC leads production with Trebbiano Toscano, a high-yielding grape known locally as Procanico or as Ugni Blanc in France. This variety is renowned for blending (in France it is often associated with the production of eau-de-vie) and is dry with citrus notes. Because it is not overwhelming, it goes well with various foods.
Toscano is different from Trebbiano Spoletino, a variety that can be very aromatic and flavorful, which is grown in Umbria near the town of Spoleto. Thanks to a high acidity, this variety gives beautiful sparkling wines. The other key varietal for white wine is the medium-bodied, acidic and refreshing Grechetto, which has two distinctions: Grechetto di Orvieto and Grechetto di Todi. Wine connoisseurs can also find international varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in Umbria.
Umbria’s main type of red wine is also one of the most tannic grapes in the world. Montefalco Sagrantino is one of the most aged wines on the planet, thick-skinned and rich in flavor. But it’s not the most widely grown grape – it’s actually the favorite and familiar Sangiovese, which is a mainstay of Umbria. One of the region’s most interesting red wines is Montefalco Rosso, a blend of Sangiovese, Sagrantino and at least one other red grape variety, often Merlot.