Umbria is the true heart of Italy: one of its very few regions untouched by the sea, fully landlocked between Marche and Toscana.
Geologically crowned by the Apennine mountains, rich with luscious valleys and hills, it offers the perfect terroir for plenty of vine varieties and temperate climatic pockets which are extremely suitable for vine growing.
Some of the most common vines that are typical of the territory are, for white grapes: white Canaiolo, Grechetto (of which our Grecante offers a wonderful and much appreciated example), white Malvasia, Procanico, Tuscan Trebbiano and Verdello.
Red Grapes: Barbera, Black Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Gamay, Montepulciano, the great Sagrantino and Sangiovese, the latter being used for plenty of interesting local blends (see our Anima Umbra, Montefalco Rosso and Vigna Flaminia Maremmana).
In reality, by browsing on the official registries of Umbria Region, we can easily verify that the territory is suitable for hosting (as it does) over 80 varieties: a number that exceeds by far the total varieties that can be found in the whole of France, for example.
But there is a specific variety that is making Umbria most popular in the world, with the delicious wine that derives from it, in purity and blends: Sagrantino.
Sagrantino is a name that evokes, in Italian language, the sacred. Well, Umbria also happens to be a mystical land of saints, having given birth to St. Francis of Assisi, St. Benedict of Norcia, St. Rita and many others. What is therefore, the connection between this great wine of Italy and the mystical tradition of this gorgeous land?
Wine plays an essential role in the celebration of Catholic rituals and mysteries. So, legend has it that St. Francis of Assisi, during one of his pilgrimages through the beautiful valleys that characterize his homeland, came to celebrate mass in Montefalco, right where now Arnaldo Caprai (master winemaker of one of the most celebrated Sagrantino in the world) has had his cultivation for a few generations. Having used this local wine for his celebration, legend goes that St. Francis openly manifested appreciation for this wine and thenceforth used it in his celebrations. Hence the name, Sagrantino, with its immediate grasp to the sacred.
Today, Arnaldo Caprai produces and exports Sagrantino all over the world (and now, yes, also to Singapore) in one of its famous labels, Collepiano, and also with its Riserva: 25 Anni. Tradition is therefore preserved, although wine-making techniques are constantly refined in order to cater more and more elegant products to the whole world.
And by looking at the Caprai Estate, one comes to realize how wine making is adding beauty to the territory, rather than subtracting it, as instead many other businesses do. While in fact all the magic happens in the subterranean darkness, the agricultural part of it donates a sense of order to the already blessed-with-beauty land.