Umbria Blog | UNTO event in Assisi

UNTO stands for Unesco, Natura, Territorio, Olio and is an event in Assisi where the new DOP Umbrian olive oil is celebrated. UNTO is organised around the Frantoi Aperti from October 28 to November 26, 2017. In Umbria this is the period that the olives are picked and the new olive oil is being pressed. Olive oil mills open their doors and  many activities are being organised.

The first weekend of UNTO on the main square in Assisi, there was a large tent with market stalls where you could taste and buy many local specialties. I pleasantly strolled along the stalls and enjoyed the sight of all these local products.

Umbrian craft beer is a real delicacy for beer lovers. At the entrance of the huge tent in Assisi, I found Giovanni serving his locally brewed beer. Giovanni is the owner of the San Biagio brewery in Nocera Umbra, not far from Assisi.

A few years ago I had a beer tasting tour at the San Biagio brewery. We tasted all kinds of Umbrian craft beer. I was with friends from Belgium and when Belgians say that San Biagio craft beer is of high quality, you can trust it!

On the first day of the UNTO event there were a lot of visitors in Assisi. Italians, but also foreign tourists. During this event quite some activities are on the program, from exhibitions to tastings, from courses to music performances.

And again I discovered a great food event in Umbria where I will definitely return.

Umbria Blog | Wine tasting at Pucciarella

Umbria is the green heart of Italy and these green hills, the climate and the soil are excellent for making good wines. Abroad Umbrian wines are less known, which is a shame because the wines of this region are of high quality. In Umbria the Etruscans made wine two thousand years ago, but also the Romans in the 3rd century b.C. appreciated the wines.

Pucciarella vineyards

Merlot grapes

The most famous Umbrian wine is the white Orvieto, the Orvieto DOC and the Orvieto Classico DOC. The most interesting Umbrian red wines come from Torgiano and Montefalco. The founder of the Torgiano wines is the Lungarotti family. The red wine from Torgiano is mostly made of Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes.

In the Trasimeno area is cultivated the lesser known Gamay grape. Within a short distance from Perugia, Assisi and Cortona is the estate “azienda agricola Pucciarella” (300 m above sea level). From its hills one can see as far as Torgiano to one side and Lake Trasimeno to the other side. The vineyards of Pucciarella measure 80 hectares.

Winery Pucciarella

Azienda Agricola Pucciarella

winners Pucciarella

At Pucciarella different kinds of grapes are harvested, such as Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sangiovese. They produce a characteristic Brut Spumante made by 100% Chardonnay grapes:”Chardonnay in purezza”, as well as a Brut Rosé of 100% Pinot nero grapes which is an elegant wine and very suitable for appetizers.

Pucciarella white wine

Colli del Trasimeno Bianco Scelto DOC

The red and white wines of Pucciarella are of high quality. The red wine Colli del Trasimeno DOC is made from only Cabernet grapes without any use of sulphites. This is quite exceptional. The wine gives an intense aroma of forest fruits, plums and spices. A harmonious wine good to combine with with pasta meals, red meat and old sheep cheese.

Pucciarella winners

Colli del Trasimeno Cabernet DOC

Pucciarella produces elegant wines thanks to the combination of exposure, soil characteristics, altitude and the low yield per vine. The wines have great character and are an excellent expression of the Umbrian terroir.

Cantina Pucciarella is opened daily. You can visit the winery without reservation and taste different kinds of wine. A nice experience and worth a visit when you are in Umbria.

Pucciarella vineyards

Umbria Blog | Montefalco and Giro d’Italia

Like every year around this time, the Giro d’Italia is going through Italy. On Tuesday May 16, 2017 is the 10th round of the Giro, a hilly trail in Umbria starting in Foligno. The first cyclist will start at 1:00 pm in Foligno next to the Duomo, and the last cyclist will finish in Montefalco at 5:15 pm, just outside the city walls. Before arriving in Montefalco the cyclists pass by Bevagna, a beautiful medieval village.

During the Giro d’Italia Montefalco is coloured pink wherever you look. Even the wine bottles outside are pink. Pink is the most important colour of the Giro d’Italia. Various activities are being organised, such as wine tasting, performances, DJ’s, and theme dinners in taverns to celebrate the Giro d’Italia. It is a lively atmosphere already before the arrival of the bicycle caravan.

The locals and the region Umbria itself pay a lot of attention to this event. More information about the Giro d’Italia you can get at the local tourist information or download the program from the website.

Federico II is a restaurant and bar in the centre of Montefalco. The owner of the restaurant is Roberta. She told me that Montefalco will be crowded the coming days. Federico II is an ideal place for an appetizer, pizza, pasta or meat dishes. They serve good wines, like the famous Sagrantino wine. I had a wonderful lunch with gnocchi al Sagrantino and a glass of Sagrantino wine 🙂 Outstanding!

Roberta also is the owner of A Montefalco, a residence with apartments and swimming pool. It is at only 10 minutes walking from the historical centre of Montefalco. Roberta and her family own a number of restaurants and bars in Montefalco and in Foligno. This family is a real Umbrian family offering hospitality to their guests and showing them Umbria the way they have always known it.