Description 1 of 2

 

Orvieto is the most famous wine produced in Umbria, Italy. This celebrated white wine has been produced in some capacity for centuries, with several written documents attesting to its popularity and preference. Orvieto could be found at the tables of many members of the nobility, high church and upper crust, and for this reason was referred to as “liquid gold.” 18th century Pope Gregory XVI was said to have requested that his body be washed with Orvieto prior to burial. Early 20th century poet Gabriele d’Annunzio referred to it as “the sun of Italy in a bottle.” 
 
But what these accounts all refer to is the “classic’ style of Orivieto, known as “abboccato” (mouth-filling), heavy and off dry. These days the preferred style is lighter and crisper, though abboccato is still produced. 
 
The vineyards surround the Medieval town of Orvieto, on either side of the Paglia river. The cool-climate, often damp, region is built on tufo soil, which is volcanic and crackly, lending itself to both quality white grape-growing and the ease of digging out cool temperatured wine cellars. 
 
The wines are produced from 60% Procanico (Trebbiano Toscano) and Grecchetto, with 40% allowable for other white varietals such as Verdello, Malvasia Toscana, Canaiolo Blanco, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc, as long as they are grown within the Orvieto zone. 
 
As previously mentioned, Orvietos run the gamut from delicate and light to fuller-bodied, sometimes dry and fruity, sometimes aromatic, depending on the blend and age treatment. The Oriveto Classico zone exists to denote both its original,“classic” growing area as well as what are considered its best vineyards. This extends from Orvieto town to Lake Corbara in the east and the Lazio boundary to the west. ~Amanda Schuster
 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

Orvieto lends its name to one of Italy’s best-known white wines. The wine called Orvieto, not surprisingly, comes from the vineyards that surround the town. While initially famous as a slightly sweet wine, Orvieto today is predominantly dry, crisp and light with subtle honey and herbal tones that float above the core of white fruits and lead to a finish that shows a subtle edge of bitter almond. Sweet and off-dry styles, labeled Dolce and Abboccato respectively, are still produced in small quanitites. Orvieto is a blend, mostly of Grechetto and Trebbiano, though those with mostly Grechetto certainly have a richer character. Orvieto is refreshing yet gentle, and very easy to pair with food. – Description from Gregory Dal Piaz

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