Anteprima Sagrantino 2023, a special moment to explore the wonderful wine escape of Umbria more deeply.

Anteprima Sagrantino 2023, a special moment to explore the wonderful wine escape of Umbria more deeply.

One of Italy’s most unique native varieties, and Umbria’s flagship grape, was show cased

on April 19th  and 20th  in the charming town of Montefalco. The Anteprima Sagrantino is

an opportunity each year for wine professionals and enthusiasts to rediscover this symbol

of Umbria’s heritage. This year was the release of the 2019 vintage of Montefalco di

Sagrantino DOCG which requires over 3 years of aging before it can be released onto the

market. Although it always takes centre stage, it is surrounded by the reputed neighbours

Montefalco Bianco DOC, Montefalco Grechetto DOC, Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC,

Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino Superiore DOC, Montefalco Rosso DOC, and Montefalco

Rosso Riserva DOC. The town hall of Montefalco, also known as the Ringhiera dell’Umbria (or the railings of

Umbria) for its perched position overlooking the countryside, was transformed into a

magnificent tasting room that welcomed the Italian and international press. Since 2015 the

Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco has organized the event in the village of Montefalco.


A New Vision for Montefalco

This year the Consortium presented a new initiative that shifts the focus from “Anteprima

Sagrantino” to “A Montefalco”. This new name represents a change in perspective that

offers a more holistic expression of Montefalco as a “Land of Wine”. No longer just

Sangrantino or an Anteprima event, “A Montefalco” is meant to show visitors the evolution

of the numerous native varieties in addition to Sagrantino that the region expresses today.

Sustainability is another important theme of the event. The Consortium launched its

“Sangreentino” initiative that provides electric cars and bikes to transport visitors to the

wineries and on other tours. The project plans for 30 charging points to be available at

different wineries. In addition, 31% of wineries have received or are transitioning to organic

and biodynamic certifications. Their sustainability practices also include solar systems,

biomass boilers, botanical gardens and ecological corridors to protect bees and promote



Montefalco, Land of wine

Montefalco lies in the heart of Italy surrounded by hilltop vineyards and historic villages. Its character is

defined by its authenticity and unique terroir. As a part of the country’s only landlocked region its rivers,

lakes and hills provide a variety of elevations and soils. Add to that its Mediterranean climate and the result is

wine with balance, depth and complexity. Most of the grapes grown here are native and have been thriving for more

than a thousand years. Of course, one grape has become a symbolic expression of the

Montefalco terroir: Sagrantino.



Sagrantino and the other fingerprinting grapes of Montefalco 

Sagrantino is inextricably linked to Montefalco’s past and future. The grape’s name is said

to derive from ‘falco sagro” or ‘sacred falcon’. Legend recounts that in the 13th  century

Sagrantino wine was used to cure the dying falcons in the area that were much adored by

the emperor Federico. Perhaps not a coincidence then that this would become the most

famous wine from Montefalco or “Falcon’s Mountain’. In 1992 Montefalco Sagrantino was

awarded DOCG status. Sagrantino was traditionally made in a sweet ‘passito’ style but its

dry version has now earned it a place among Italy’s best red wines. This thick-skinned

grape is low yielding with a lot of tannin, structure and intensity which also gives it

excellent aging potential. This tannic power is harnessed through the required aging

process for DOCG certification. But as the Montefalco wine producer’s Consortium demonstrates

in its inclusive approachto promoting the wines of Montefalco, Sangrantino is just one of several local grape

varieties to be discovered. For example, Trebbiano Spoletino and Grechetto are among

the white wines that should not be missed. Trebbiano Spoletino can be surprisingly rich

and structured with both fruity and savoury elements that are delivered with refreshing

acidity. There are also Sangiovese based reds produced under the Montefalco Rosso

DOC. These can vary from fresh and fruity with herbaceous undertones to more structured

wines aged in barrique. You can find reds and whites alike in a dry style or sweet made in

the ‘passito’ method.


The epicentre of wine tourism in Umbria 

Montefalco has been known as the “Land of Wine” since the Middle Ages.

Evidence that vines were present in the area date back to 1088. These native grape

varieties have evolved in harmony with local traditions and culture making this land of

wine an incredible place for wine enthusiasts to visit.  The region has seen rapid growth of

small, dynamic estates over the past decade. They are supported by the Consortium and

the combined determination of the local hospitality, restaurants, heritage sites and fellow

wineries to promote the area and its great qualities, especially after the pandemic. The

‘Associazione Strada del Sagrantino’ is one of the main bodies promoting tourism along the

wine road to these 5 towns: Montefalco, Bevagna, Castel Ritaldi, Giano dell’Umbria and

Gualdo Cattaneo. Not only do each of them have deep rooted wine traditions, but they

also offer rich history, beautiful architecture, and tasty local specialties. For example, the

Museum of Montefalco is a treasure trove of art and a reference point for Umbrian history,

tradition and painting. The Rocca Sonora is a fortress that stands in the main square of

Gualdo Cattaneo as an emblem of the territory’s fortified defence system. San Francesco

Church in Giano dell’Umbria has some incredible frescoes by the reputed painter

Giovanni di Corraduccio. And the uniquely shaped Piazza Filippo Silvestri in Bevagna is

one of Umbria’s most attractive medieval squares.


The ‘A Sagrantino’ event celebrated the 2019 vintage of Montefalco di Sagrantino DOCG

with a 95/100 score, declaring it an “Outstanding Vintage”. The growing season had

plenty of water which combined a prolonged period of vegetative growth and a gradual

maturing of the grapes creating the perfect combination for grapes of the highest quality to

enter the cellar. Add to that excellent acidity levels and we can imagine a bright future for

these wines with great aging potential.


Here is a selection of Sveva Consonni’s favourites that are also fantastic wineries to visit

with memorable tasting experiences and many lodging options.



A landmark estate in Montefalco, Azienda Agraria Scacciadiavoli has been producing wine

since 1884 and was bought by the Pambuffetti family in 1954. The name means “cast out

the devils”, taken from a local 19th century exorcist who was known to use wine while

performing his rituals. Today the winery is a state-of-the-art 4 level facility allowing for

gravity flow throughout the entire production. Winery visits consist of a guided tour and

different tastings to choose from paired with Pambufetti family products or even lunch.

Scacciadiavoli – Montefalco Grechetto Doc 2022

Brilliant, yellow colour. Intense flavour of ginger with scent of apricot.

Fresh, balanced palate with good persistence. The acidity matches well with the fruit. I enjoyed it!



Founded in 1919 by three brothers, Alfredo, Francesco, and Alberto. They first started

making wine in the local hospital in Montefalco. Eventually their wines were exported all

over Italy, including the Vatican. Today their great grandsons Gianluca Rio and Alberto

Mario keep the family tradition alive. With their 11 hectares of vines, they grow the local

varieties Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Grechetto and Trebbiano Spoletino, but also

international grapes like Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay.

Pardi – Montefalco Grechetto Doc 2022

Clear with lemon colour turning slightly green on the rim.  The wine displays an intense

perfume white grapefruit, and lemon with a light note of mint. Dry, sapid, and intense with

lively acidity. I liked this wine.


Le Cimate

Le Cimate winery is the culmination of over 200 years of dedication to agriculture by the

Bartolini family. From farming in the 1800’s to viticulture in the 1960’s and then the

strategic purchase of land in 1992, the family did not start building their winery until 2011.

Three generations contributed to its construction, including Grandfather Paolo who was

president of the local community winery Colli Spolentini for more than 20 years. The

location at 400m nestled against the Martani Mountains provides an excellent

diurnal shift in temperatures with regular winds to keep the vines healthy. Surrounding

their 23 hectares of vineyards are 33 hectares of olive groves and 15 hectares of hazelnut

orchards. The winery benefits from the latest technology and produces wines from an

impressive array of grapes, both native varieties and international favourites such as

Chardonnay, Viognier, Vermentino, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Le Cimate – Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino Doc 2021

Medium yellow core with light hues. Intense bouquet of peach and jasmine flowers with a

hint of mint. Fragrant entrance, with good fruit and crispy acidity. A delicious wine!



Giampalo Tabarrini is the fourth generation who took control of his family’s agricultural

estate in the late 1990’s and transformed it into the winery that it is today. His vision is very

focused on terroir. Three of their bottlings are selected from distinct parcels among the

vineyards to highlight their unique expression. In addition to their 15 hectares of vineyards

they have olive groves and wheat fields from which they produce their own stone ground

flour perfect for making pizza, pasta, and desserts.

Tabarrini – Boccatone – Montefalco Rosso Doc 2018

Intense ruby red with paler reflections. Various and intense aromas of ripe plum,

blackberry and chocolate. Full bodied with pleasant red notes developing on the palate.

Long and fresh aftertaste. A great wine.


Cantine Lungarotti

Founded in the 1960’s by Giorgio Lungarotti, the family has an estate in Montefalco and

Torgiano, just 30 minutes northwest of Montefalco towards Perugia. The winery is a

family affair with Giorgio’s two daughters Chiara and Teresa now running the family

business. Their mother Maria Grazia was a pioneer in wine tourism creating the region’s

first wine museum in the 1970’s and more recently an olive and oil museum. Teresa

herself was one of Italy’s first female oenologists and her children Francesco and Gemma

manage the estate’s sales and events. All their wines have been organic since 2010.

Lungarotti – Montefalco Sagrantino Docg 2019

Brilliant, deep garnet colour with compact rim. The nose shows beautiful flavour of

blueberries. Spicy with a hint of mint. Well-structured wine with good acidity and velvety

tannins. Elegant with long finish.  I love it.


Arnaldo Caprai

Founded in 1971 by Marco’s father Arnaldo Caprai who was a textile entrepreneur. In

1988 Arnaldo passed the reins to Marco when he was only 21. He has grown the

winey from just 12 acres to a thriving 370-acre estate. Early on he made the choice to

drastically reducing the quantity of grapes to focus on quality. Believing in Sagrantino’s full

potential he began exporting dry Montefalco Sagrantino to the U.S. even before its DOCG

status, paving the way for an international revival of Sagrantino. The state-of-the-art winery

in Montefalco offers multiple tours and tastings on their panoramic terrace or in the


Arnaldo Caprai – Collepiano – Montefalco Sagrantino Docg 2019

Deep garnet core with paler rims. Pronounced intensity of ripe plum and prune with

overtones of tabacco. Lovely ripe black cherry in the palate. Fragrant and juicy with present

acidity. Fresh delicious finish. A charming wine.



Originally owned by the bishop of Spoleto for over 600 years, the property was bought by

Francesco Antonelli in 1883. Today the Antonelli estate is spread out over 430 acres in the

heart of the Montefalco territory. The variety of terrain from rich clay deposits to rocky

limestone results in several microclimates with each plot expressing its own nuances. The

cellars are completely underground allowing for the use of gravity flow during production.

The grapes, mostly Sagrantino and Sangiovese for reds and Grechetto and Trebbiano

Spoletino for whites, are all organic. Visitors are welcomed in the beautifully restored

antique farmhouse called Casale Satriano that includes 6 apartments and a swimming


Antonelli – Montefalco Rosso Doc Riserva 2019

Brillant, ruby red with compacted rim. Pronounced flavour of cassis and violet. Spicy with

overtones of leather. Dry and fragrant, with soft tannins and long persistence. Full body

with a lovely, harmonious finish.


Devis Romanelli

Perched on San Clemente hill in Montefalco the Romanelli estate has been cultivating

wine, olive oil, walnuts, and grains completely organically for over 40 years. Their love for

this special terroir can be seen in everything they do from the Romanelli Nature project

that promotes sustainability and biodiversity to their eco-friendly approach to tourism. The

winery is run today by the young and dynamic Devis Romanelli. He produces three special

Cru wines that are a result of decades of research into the unique qualities of the different

plots on the estate.

Devis Romanelli – Terra Cupa – Montefalco Sagrantino Docg 2017

The colour is intense dark ruby with a compact rim. Complex nose with flavour of dark

cherry and prune. A full body wine with good freshness. Present delicate tannins and quite

long aftertaste.  A great wine.


Tenuta Bellafonte

Located just outside of Bevagna, Tenuta Bellafonte was started by a successful

businessman from Milan, Peter Heilbron, who fell in love with Umbria and the unique

terroir of Montefalco. A good example of a winery dedicated to sustainability and

biodiversity. They use solar panels and a biomass boiler to avoid any environmental

damage or waste. The wine production and cellar are both underground to blend in

with the landscape. The vineyards are surrounded by forests and a massive olive grove of

2500 trees which they use to produce their own olive oil. Their vines are Sagrantino,

Sangiovese and Trebbiano Spoletino grapes. A large country estate was built to welcome

visitors with 7 charming bedrooms, a lush garden and indoor pool.

Tenuta Bellafonte – Collenottolo – Montefalco Sagrantino Docg 2016

Ruby core with violet hues. Intense bouquet of black cherry and prune with a note of

rhubarb. The palate expresses ripe red cherry, blackberries with a hint of vanilla. Soft

tannins, well integrated with the fruit.  Elegant.


Cantina Tudernum

Established in 1958 by a group of vineyard owners who decided to join forces to market

their wines as a cooperative group. They grew from only a few hectares of vines to the 400

hectares they have today. Since the 90’s they have invested in quality and technological

improvements to make an impressive variety of wines from both modern and classic

styles, also using rare native varietals.

Cantina Tudernum – Fidenzio – Montefalco Sagrantino Docg 2016

Deep ruby core, paler on the edge. Attractive bouquet of strawberry and violet mixed with

spicy notes of black pepper. Full body with lots of red fruit in the centre palate with smoky

scents on the back. Sweet, velvety tannins and quite long aftertaste. A harmonious wine.

Filippo Magnani

Tuscany – Italy
T: +39 335 53 477 04
O: +39 0565 82 70 44

© Filippo Magnani

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