A taste of Umbria:Paolo Bea and Paolo e Noemia d’Amico Winery

May 16, 2023

Paolo Bea and Paolo e Noemia d’Amico Winery - Travel Raro

Known as ‘’The Green Heart of Italy,’’ Umbria is famous for its scenic vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. It is a lesser-traveled region of Italy with a long wine production history; Montefalco Sagrantino and Montefalco Rosso are top reds, while Orvieto is Umbria’s best-known white wine.

The region boasts some impressive wineries, and on our Umbria trips, we visit two of them- the renowned Paolo Bea Winery in Montefalco and Paolo e Noemia in Castiglione in Teverina. 

Paolo Bea Winery

Paolo Bea is a renowned winery in Montefalco, famous for producing natural wines free of chemicals in both the vineyards and the cellar. This family-run estate is a classic example of Italian Fatorria- it produces wine, raises farm animals for trade, and works the land to produce olives, fruits, and vegetables.

The Green Heart of Italy | Travel Raro

The winery stands out for its unique approach to winemaking, which is reflected in everything, from its aging techniques to bottle labels. Each bottle has a handwritten like label that contains many details, from the aging methods to some other wine characteristics.

Paolo Bea is best known for its Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG red wines, produced in both secco (dry wine) and passito (sweet dessert wine) styles.

Sagrantino

Sagrantino is the name of the indigenous grape variety and wine that has made Umbria famous worldwide. The wine’s dark and dense character is distinguished by diverse fruit characteristics such as black cherries, ripe blackberries, and other spicy and earthy aspects. 

Its bold flavor and high tannins make it a wine for those who appreciate complexity and depth. But perhaps the most impressive characteristic of Sagrantino is its ability to age well. After spending time in oak barrels, this wine acquires a richness and complexity that is hard to find in other wines. In fact, the local wine law mandates that Sagrantino cannot be released until it has aged for at least 33 months, including 12 months in oak. This strict aging requirement speaks to the wine’s potential for greatness – it’s not a wine that is meant to be consumed young. 

Montefalco Sagrantino was granted D.O.C.G. status in 1992.  DOCG is the highest classification of Italian wine which means that the wine has been produced according to controlled methods and is of guaranteed quality. 

To earn the Montefalco Sagrantino label, a wine must be made of 100 percent Sagrantino grapes that grow exclusively around the hilltop town of Montefalco.

Sagrantino Secco ‘Il Pagliaro’ Paolo Bea

Bea is one of the best producers of Sagrantino, and Pagliaro wine is perhaps their most renowned wine grown on a hilltop site in Montefalco at 1300 feet above sea level. It is a dense wine with notes of cinnamon and blackberry.

Sagrantino grapes are typically harvested in the second half of October, but the cuvaison extends for a period between forty to fifty days. The wine is then aged for a year in stainless steel before being transferred to large Slavonian oak barrels for another two years. Finally, it spends one more year in the bottle, unfiltered like all Bea wines, before release.

Paolo e Noemia d’Amico Winery

Paolo e Noemia d’Amico winery is a family-run estate that combines elegance and luxury. Its surrounded by a beautiful setting and features a sculpture garden with masterpieces of contemporary art and a magnificent 13th-century tower. 
Paolo e Noemia d’Amico Winery | Travel Raro

What sets Paolo e Noemia wines apart is their use of French grape varieties grown on volcanic soil from the Calanchi Valley. Thirty-one hectares of vineyards lie on dramatic hillsides composed of eroded lava and tufa, which give the grapes a unique intensity of minerals. The cellar where the wines are stored was created by Noemia d’Amico and the world-renowned architect Luca Brasini. Carved from tufo rocks, it’s an architectural wonder complete with magnificent structural arches leading to a library filled with vintages dating back 30 years.

Paolo e Noemia d’Amico Noe dei Calanchi Orvieto 2021

The d’Amico family makes outstanding wine, but one that stands out is Noe dei Calanchi, one of Umbria’s best. This Orvieto DOC is a bright pale yellow color wine with green tinges. It’s very fragrant and has lively aromas of citrus fruits and white flowers. The wine is bottled at the beginning of March and is ready for sale immediately.

In conclusion, a wine tasting at Paolo Bea and Paolo e Noemia d’Amico wineries is a great way to get a sense of local culture and enjoy some of the finest Italian wines. 

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