Le strade dei vini

There are 4 wine routes in Umbria. They are the 'Strada del Vino dei Colli del Trasimeno', the 'Strada dei Vini del Cantico', the 'Strada dei Vini Etrusco Romana' and the 'Strada del Sagrantino'. Once you have travelled the length of all four, you can rest assured you have a pretty good feel for the enology business of the region. The Strada del Sagrantino wine route is marketed especially well. It extends through the towns of Gualdo Cattaneo, Bevagna, Giano dell'Umbria, Castel Ritaldi, Bettona, Cannara with the epicentre Montefalco. We counted 12 events and initiatives throughout the year, from the mid April market 'Terre del Sagrantino', the Settimana Enologia in September and the Festival Calici in Montefalco in December. The Trasimeno Hills Wine Route is the perfect reference for discovering the wines from the slopes surrounding the largest lake in central Italy, perhaps most famous as the scene of the battle between Hannibal and the Romans. The Strada dei Vini Etrusco Romana or 'Route of the Roman Etruscan wines' is similarly evocative. Today, the wine may not be the same as that drunk by the ancients but combine your research with archaeological visits to Orvieto, Amelia, Terni and the mysterious Valnerina. Finally, the Strada dei Vini del Cantico. There is a little crossover with the other zones but Todi, Spello and Assisi need little introduction. Head first to Torgiano and the fine wine museum.

Extra-virgin Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Umbria olive oil

Umbria is the first Italian region to have obtained recognition of PDO for all the regional territory. The Umbria PDO is subdivided into 5 geographical areas. The mention of one of the following areas on the oil's labelling: Assisi Spoleto Hills, Martani Hills, Amerini Hills, Orvietani Hills, Trasimeno Hills, is mandatory. Each area has different soil and climatic conditions, different varieties of olives, and specific geography, agricultural techniques and oil production methods. All the sub-areas are subjected to identical, rigorous standards regarding the minimum acidity level, not to be higher than 0.65% (as opposed to 0.8% for most extra-virgin oils), and a tasting panel controls the organoleptic characteristics. The oil must be at a temperature of around 28 degrees Celsius to facilitate the perception of volatile components such as flavours and smells. Try warming the oil by holding the glass in one hand and covering it with the other. Bring the glass to your nose and breathe in deeply. Then try a few drops, without ingesting them: by inhaling the air so that it comes into contact with the taste buds.