As I mentioned in My Favorite Things In Italy, there are just so many things to like about Italy. My friend Monica in Venice has a favorite Osteria. Letizia has a favorite seasonal harvest. Steve loves the quirky things about Italy. (Deep down, I think we all do, Steve!) Well, for Alessandra Mallozzi in Todi, Umbria, her favorite thing is wine! Understandably. Alessandra and her brother, Leonardo are co-owners of Discovering Umbria, a travel company specializing in food and wine tours. She is a Certified Sommelier FISAR (Italian Federation of Sommeliers) and writes a beautiful blog where she shares her love of food and wine. I think you will pick up on her passion in this post:
My Favorite Thing In Umbria Is Wine
Umbria is a land particularly suited to viniculture. It's moderate climate and gentle rolling hills all contribute in making excellent wines produced by wine growers of the region since ancient times.
Umbria is divided into 2 DOCG and 13 DOC areas -- denotations that guarantee the origin and the quality of a wine. Among the 13 DOCs, there is DOC Todi that includes some of the wines produced in our town and in the villages of Massa Martana, Montecastello di Vibio and Collazzone.
The DOC Todi includes some red wines like Sangiovese, one of the most common grapes cultivated in central Italy (e.g., the famous Chianti wine is made with Sangiovese grapes) and the international Merlot, even though our town is renowned for its white wine called Grechetto. Grechetto is not only the name of the wine, but is also the name of the special kind of grape--it's DNA has recently been analyzed showing a deep difference among the other Grechetto cultivated in the region.
This grape, in fact, has been cultivated in Todi for centuries. The Roman historian, Pliny the Elder, who visited our town in the 1st century B.C.--two thousand years ago--wrote in his work, "Historia Naturalis," this sentence: peculiaris est tudernis (typical of Todi), referencing the particular vine that produces this dry white wine with its slightly bitter aftertaste.
For these reasons, in 2009, our wine received the important DOC Todi recognition underlining the special characteristics of Todi's wine over other Umbrian Grechetto.
While visiting Umbria and our town, Todi, try a chilly glass of this great wine, especially on a warm summer day. Together with a nice plate of pasta, fish or even white meat, it is delizioso! Cheers!
Thank you Alessandra for reminding us just how special Italian wines are! Do you have a favorite Italian wine? I'd love to hear about!