Hooray, wine tour day! Linda had arranged for a wine tour with Gusto, a tour outfit that specializes in Umbria Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG wineries. Our house was on the border of Tuscany and Umbria, so we were picked up by Carlo to drive us further into Umbria to meet up with our tour guide Mark (are you still with me?). Carlo was a very good, fast driver who, quite honestly, looked more like a Bruno to me. I would not want to be on the receiving end of a punch by that guy! Not that he was menacing- in fact, he was quite nice. He just looked like a bruiser!
Mark was our British tour guide/driver who has lived in the area for quite awhile. Honestly, he seemed to be in a bit of a mood when he first picked us up but things improved as the day went on. I thought he was more caustic than funny. Fortunately, the wineries were quite nice and the tour overall was quite good.
So, yes, we went to three wineries highlighting the Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG. We went to Terre Dei Nappi, Fongoli and Romanelli. Lunch was offered at an old farmhouse dating back to the 14th century and owned by the same family!
Terre Dei Nappi featured a talk and a tasting with the owner/winemaker. They had lovely wines and paired nicely with a cheese and salami platter. We walked in the vineyard and saw their wine making apparatus. It was pretty amazing to see a professional winery but on a family farm-scale rather than a Napa or Sonoma-sized place. I feel that family farms are easy to romanticize but it’s clear that a lot of hard work goes into staying open while producing a quality product.
Fongoli was my favorite because I enjoyed the method tinkering that the winemaker employed. He experimented with different barrels and even aged some wine in huge Terra Cotta amphora. The wine there was delicious and they had a beautiful view from their farm.
Then we had lunch followed by our last stop at Romanelli where I met my new Italian boyfriend. It was Neroni, my new favorite doggie in the entire world! I really, really wished that Neroni could be my dog but alas, he already had loving owners. He was such a cute, energetic dog with a touch of rakish daredevil (stupidity?) in how he liked to chase cars. I would like to find a Neroni in the US- fingers crossed!
After Romanelli, we met back up with Carlo and drove back to the house. I took a nap and then walked the 5 km loop, coming back after dark. It was a great day and a wonderful tour to take.