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Wine in the Orvieto region

by Charlotte

The Orvieto region, which is located in Umbria and Lazio, is considered one of the finest wine producing areas in the whole of Italy.

It is famed for its exquisite white wines, which are predominantly made from the Grechetto and Trebbiano grapes. Blended red wines are also produced here as tufa limestone and volcanic ash make for fertile and ideal growing conditions.

Historically, White Orvieto was a sweet dessert wine but today, most of the blends are dry. The Grechetto grape is famed for its fruity flavour and adds a unique depth and weight to the wine of this region.

The highest quality wines have a higher proportion of Grechetto, although the majority of White Orvietos contain around 60% of the Trebbiano grape.

Even though dry wines make up the majority of White Orvieto exports, semi-sweet (Orvieto Abboccato) and sweet (dolce) versions are also produced, albeit in smaller quantities.

If you are more a fan of red wines, then the Orvieto region doesn’t disappoint. Rosso Orvietano DOC is the name given to a range of blended red wines and eight varietal reds that the region produces.

Thirteen grapes are used in the production of blends, meaning it is fair to say that the Orvieto region has mastered the art of wine blending. Meanwhile, red varietal wines conform to the DOC standard provided they contain at least 70% of the Aleatico, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Merlot, Pinot Nero and Sangiovese grapes.

Orvieto itself is a delightful medieval city which is definitely worth a day’s exploring. There aren't many cheap hotels here but it's certainly worth tracking down any deals on flights you can find to come and see this location in action.

The restaurants here serve a range of exquisite local cuisine where you can buy a bottle of any number of local wines, which complement the food perfectly. The region is famed for its olive oil, with chicken and game being particularly popular dishes.

Cooking wine is used aplenty, specifically in creating “gallina ‘ubriaca” or “Drunken Chicken”, whilst umbrichelli, a local pasta dish, is also highly regarded.

The city is a delightful car-free zone, whilst the range of architecture, particularly that of the Gothic Duomo (cathedral), is breathtaking. The town sits on top of a rocky outcrop from which you can observe panoramic views across the wine-growing region.

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