Upper Tiber Valley vinosanto from smoked grapes

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Umbria

Wines and grape varietals

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Upper Tiber Valley vinosanto from smoked grapes

The production of vinosanto, a sweet wine made from raisined grapes, is traditional in all of Tuscany and Umbria’s wine-producing areas. But in the Upper Tiber Valley, around Città di Castello, over the centuries the local families developed a technique that makes their wine unique. The bunches of grapes (singly or tied together in pairs called coppiole) are dried in rooms filled with smoke from fireplaces or stoves, giving the final wine a distinct smoky note. Historically the bunches would be hung from the kitchen ceiling, allowing the smoke from the hearth to permeate the grapes, but in the 19th century this tradition became intertwined with an activity on the rise at the time: tobacco production.
The wine producers would arrange their grapes in the rooms used for drying the tobacco leaves, exposing them to the fire and smoke produced by large wood-burning stoves. The link between the two products did not end there: When the farmers dug up the tins where they had stored some tobacco to hide it from the government monopoly, they would soften the leaves by sprinkling them with vinosanto. And the tradition of dipping a Tuscan cigar in vinosanto before smoking continues today.
The grapes used are trebbiano, malvasia, grechetto and malfiore, all picked before they become too ripe, so that the grape skins are still thick and resistant. The drying lasts at least three or four months, until December or January. The bunches are then destemmed and pressed and the must left to ferment in wooden barrels with the natural yeasts kept by every family. The barrels are stored in well-ventilated rooms, where they are subject to seasonal variations in temperature. Time does the rest, and after at least five years the end result is a sweet wine with notes of dried fruit and chestnut honey and an unmistakable hint of smoke evoking cigar tobacco.

Season

The product is available all year round

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Many small vineyards still survive alongside farmers’ houses. The families who have preserved barrels, sometimes centuries old, and natural yeasts passed down from their ancestors, continue to produce smoked vinosanto, primarily for its sentimental value.
The Presidium wants to convince more small-scale winegrowers to revive production on a larger scale, returning this traditional wine to the market. It could represent an interesting supplement to farming activities in the Tiber Valley, an area where the crops that were profitable in recent decades—primarily fruit and tobacco—have gradually been abandoned.
These small producers, who have joined together in the Consortium for the Protection of Upper Tiber Valley vinosanto from smoked grapes, are trying to implement a change in the specification of the DOC Colli Altotiberini, in order to create a sub-zone and include "vinosanto" among the wines for which the designation of origin is reserved. At the moment the product is recognised as Bianco Passito IGT Umbria."

Production area

Upper Tiber Valley, Perugia province
Producers

Anna e Mauro Blasi
Via Cavour, 85
Umbertide (Pg)
Tel. +39 366 1428973
info@cantineblasi.it

Cantina del Colonna
di Dylan Carletti
Via delle Pistrine, 10
Frazione Pistrino
Citerna (Pg)
Tel. +39 334 8908803
cantinadelcolonna@gmail.com

Il Cantuccio
di Simona Traversini
Località Cantone
San Giustino (Pg)
Tel.+39 338 2060489
ilcantuccioagriturismo@gmail.com

Colle del Sole
di Lauretta Polidori
Località Colle, 41
Frazione Pierantonio Umbertide (Pg)
Tel. +39 338 2655995
info@cantinapolidori.com

Diego Donini
Via Romana, 2
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 338 2878450
info@vinidonini.it

I Girasoli di Sant’Andrea
di Ursula Schindler Gritti
Località Molino Vitelli
Umbertide (Pg)
Tel. +39 075 9410837
info@vitiarium.it

La Miniera di Galparino
di Chiara Filippi
Vocabolo Galparino 35
Sansecondo
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 347 6140798
info@galparino.com

Carlo Mori
Via Don Primo Mazzolari, 10
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 339 6318629
moricarlo6@gmail.com

Francesco e Enrico Nardoni
Via XIV Maggio, 14
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 334 7113907
simone.nardoni174@gmail.com

Luciano Pulcinelli
Castri Badia Petroia
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 366 3581452

Gianluca Renzacci
Località Scalocchio
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 329 2916901
gianluca.renzacci@gmail.com

Società Agricola Reno
di Elena Caraffini
Via dei Casceri, 11
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 333 4910624-333 5231501
info@talacchio.it

Antonella Valentini
Via Case Sparse, 32
Montone (Pg)
Tel. +39 366 9591444
morganti.sauro@gmail.com
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Sergio Consigli
Tel. +39 366 9257459
consiglisergio@libero.it

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Claudio Ceccarelli
Tel. +39 335 6820291
lucia.ceccarelli1997@gmail.com
Many small vineyards still survive alongside farmers’ houses. The families who have preserved barrels, sometimes centuries old, and natural yeasts passed down from their ancestors, continue to produce smoked vinosanto, primarily for its sentimental value.
The Presidium wants to convince more small-scale winegrowers to revive production on a larger scale, returning this traditional wine to the market. It could represent an interesting supplement to farming activities in the Tiber Valley, an area where the crops that were profitable in recent decades—primarily fruit and tobacco—have gradually been abandoned.
These small producers, who have joined together in the Consortium for the Protection of Upper Tiber Valley vinosanto from smoked grapes, are trying to implement a change in the specification of the DOC Colli Altotiberini, in order to create a sub-zone and include "vinosanto" among the wines for which the designation of origin is reserved. At the moment the product is recognised as Bianco Passito IGT Umbria."

Production area

Upper Tiber Valley, Perugia province
Producers

Anna e Mauro Blasi
Via Cavour, 85
Umbertide (Pg)
Tel. +39 366 1428973
info@cantineblasi.it

Cantina del Colonna
di Dylan Carletti
Via delle Pistrine, 10
Frazione Pistrino
Citerna (Pg)
Tel. +39 334 8908803
cantinadelcolonna@gmail.com

Il Cantuccio
di Simona Traversini
Località Cantone
San Giustino (Pg)
Tel.+39 338 2060489
ilcantuccioagriturismo@gmail.com

Colle del Sole
di Lauretta Polidori
Località Colle, 41
Frazione Pierantonio Umbertide (Pg)
Tel. +39 338 2655995
info@cantinapolidori.com

Diego Donini
Via Romana, 2
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 338 2878450
info@vinidonini.it

I Girasoli di Sant’Andrea
di Ursula Schindler Gritti
Località Molino Vitelli
Umbertide (Pg)
Tel. +39 075 9410837
info@vitiarium.it

La Miniera di Galparino
di Chiara Filippi
Vocabolo Galparino 35
Sansecondo
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 347 6140798
info@galparino.com

Carlo Mori
Via Don Primo Mazzolari, 10
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 339 6318629
moricarlo6@gmail.com

Francesco e Enrico Nardoni
Via XIV Maggio, 14
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 334 7113907
simone.nardoni174@gmail.com

Luciano Pulcinelli
Castri Badia Petroia
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 366 3581452

Gianluca Renzacci
Località Scalocchio
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 329 2916901
gianluca.renzacci@gmail.com

Società Agricola Reno
di Elena Caraffini
Via dei Casceri, 11
Città di Castello (Pg)
Tel. +39 333 4910624-333 5231501
info@talacchio.it

Antonella Valentini
Via Case Sparse, 32
Montone (Pg)
Tel. +39 366 9591444
morganti.sauro@gmail.com
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Sergio Consigli
Tel. +39 366 9257459
consiglisergio@libero.it

Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Claudio Ceccarelli
Tel. +39 335 6820291
lucia.ceccarelli1997@gmail.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionUmbria

Other info

CategoriesWines and grape varietals