Wine Guide: Umbria

Umbria – The landlocked region

Umbria is a relatively small region in Central Italy which is split just into two provinces (Terni and Perugia). Its capital city is Perugia. Agriculture plays a massive part in the Umbrian economy – mostly olive oil, tobacco and wine.A total of 12 DOC and 2 DOCG wines come from this region. For details on the Italian wine-classification system read this guide. Most notable wines from Umbria are red wines. While the production of wine is limited, mostly by the small size of the region, the quality of Umbrian wine is often outstanding.

Umbria MapImportant grapes in Umbria

Sagrantino (red) is found in many Umbrian wines – including the Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG. The grape is native to Umbria and not found in many other regions. Other important grapes in Umbria include Sangiovese (red), Pecorino & Trebbiano (both white) and Cabernet-Sauvignon.

Important wines in Umbria

  • Lago di Corbara DOC
    Produced in the province of Terni. A large variety of grapes is permitted in this wine’s production. 70%-100% Cabernet-Sauvignon. 70%-100% Merlot, 70%-100% Pinot Nero, 70%-100% Sangiovese, up to 30% Aleatico, up to 30% Barbera, up to 30% Cabernet-Franc, up to 30% Canaiolo. This means that different bottles of wine classified as Lago di Corbara DOC might taste very different.
  • Orvieto DOC
    Produced in the provinces Terni (Umbria) and Viterbo (Lazio!). Grapes permitted: 40%-60% Trebbiano, 15%-25% Verdello, up to 45% Canaiolo Bianco, up to 45% Grechetto. Orvieto DOC is the most well-known wine from Umbria.
  • Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG
    Produced in the municipality of Montefalco and some nearby towns. The wine has to be produced with 100% Sagrantino grapes. Although rather unknown it’s one of Italy’s treasures. Due to low production quantity these wines tend to be rather expensive.
  • Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG
    Produced in the province of Perugia. Grapes permitted: 50%-70% Sangiovese, 15-30% Canaiolo, up to 10% Trebbiano.

Quick facts about wine from Umbria

  • Lago di Corbara DOC is one of the few Italian DOC/DOCG classified wines in which the use of non-autochthonic grapes is permitted. There are actually wines classified as Lago di Cobara DOC which are solely produced with grapes like Cabernet-Sauvignon or Merlot.
  • Since Umbria is so small Orvieto DOC can be produced in parts of Lazio (a region bordering Umbria), too.
  • Most wine from Umbria gets consumed within Italy. Finding it outside of the country’s border can be quite a challenge.

Quick summary

  • Orvieto DOC is the most well-known wine from Umbria.
  • Most wines from Umbria are red wines and the most famous one is the Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG.
  • Sagrantino is an autochthonic grape from Umbria.

If you have red the other Italian region guides on Vino in Love then you have probably noted that this guide is a bit shorter than the rest. That’s not because I was too lazy to write more but because there are simply not that many wine-related, interesting topics regarding Umbrian wine to talk about. I still felt that every region should get its own guide and therefore I decided to make a separate, shorter guide for Umbria. Usually I provide links to wine-reviews regarding that specific region but unfortunately I have not reviewed a single wine from Umbria on Vino in Love – Shame on me! I’ve had a few last April at the 2012 VinItaly wine fair. Can’t remember them well-enough to write a review about them though.

For more information about Italian wine go this page. If you want to share your thoughts about Umbrian wine with us then you can do so in the comment section and if you liked the guide then please subscribe to the Vino in Love!


6 comments on “Wine Guide: Umbria”

  1. Sean P. Reply

    I did’t even know were or what Umbria was – forgive me for that.
    I’m interested in trying a Largo di Corbara DOC. International grapes in Italian wine sounds like a fun experiment!

    • vino in love Reply

      Sometimes wines classified as IGT are produced with grapes that are not native to Italy. Especially in Sicily you can find big variety of international grapes like Chardonnay or Syrah.

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