Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wine Tasting in Montefalco

Another day, another day trip to the country.  With home base in Spello, we can easily visit beautiful hill towns within 20 to 30 minutes.  Today, we decided to visit Arnaldo Caprai, the largest producer of Sagantino wine in Umbria.  With our entry reservation arranged by Enoteca Properzio we arrived at 11 a.m. and were blown away by the color of the vineyards, beginning to turn autumn colors.  The landscape here in Umbria is breathtaking: look one way you see a brilliant pink stone city on a hill, look the other and you see nothing but the feathery grey green leaves of olive trees dotting the hillsides, and look farther and you see the bright yellows and rusty reds of the vineyards planted on the hillsides. 

Caprai is famous for their Sagrantino; originally only a dessert wine, or passito, in the late 1990's they decided to age it to see how it would taste.  Working with the local universities, they came upon the right way to age the wines, and the rest is history, with the wine being crowned the number one wine in Europe. 

We were taken to the fermentation rooms, where the wines were just at the end of their cycle, and then the to aging rooms.  Then up to the tasting rooms, where we sampled the white Grecchetto, and the reds.  There is a DOC wine in the area called "Montefalco Rosso", predominantly Sangiovese, with a bit of Sagrantino, Merlot and possibly other grapes, it is one of my favorite wines.  The 100% Sagrantino is the jewel in the crown here, and for good reason.  A wine with tannic flavors, it mellows out after aging, and is delicious paired with many dishes.  Grazie to the Caprai winery for such a beautiful morning. 
After tasting all these wines, we had to have lunch, so headed to L'Alchimista in nearby downtown Montefalco; I mean downtown in that it has a central piazza with a few restaurants surrounding the piazza. 
With our reservation made by Roberto at Enoteca Properzio, we decided to have the specials of the day.  Again, I'll let the photos speak for themselves. 

Since it is the celebration of the black celery, we had celery Parmigiana

Creamy celery soup with black truffles, olive oil and cippolini onion souffle
Gnocchi in Sagrantino
Fresh Strangozzi pasta, with black celery, sausage, and pumpkin

Pork Tenderloin braised in Sagrantino, with grapes (Mama Mia!)
Lemon sorbet with peaches poached in rosemary
After they rolled us out of here, we were on the road again back to home base in Spello.  What a beautiful way to spend the day. 

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