Umbria is Italy's only region that is entirely surrounded by Italy. Tuscany is Umbria's neighbor to the northwest, and Rome is a 2-hour drive southwest from Umbria's southern border. The region's eastern border is entirely occupied by Abruzzo. Winewise Umbria shares many of its grape varieties with Tuscany (Sangiovese, for example). Umbria’s main acclaim to wine fame is that it is the home of the historic hilltop town, Orvieto, and the white wine of the same name. Umbria is blessed with a similar climate to Tuscany's: warm and dry, but cool enough, thanks to the Tiber River and its tributaries flowing through the region. The soil is mainly calcareous clay and sand, with plenty of limestone, always good for vines.
And it is from these particular soils that this winery takes its name, ARGILLAE. Argilla is the Italian word for clay. Azienda Agricola Argillae is set on the hills between Allerona and Ficulle, northwest of Orvieto, and boasts some 640 hectares of land, of which 170 are planted with vine (the rest is devoted to olive groves, corn and woods). The vineyards are located on the slopes of the hills, at approx 1000 to 1380 feet of altitude and enjoy good exposure to the east and west and ideal microclimate. This territory is characterized by rock formations called "calanchi", a type of badland formed by erosion in clayey bedrock, particularly along the river valleys, some 2 millions years ago. As a proof that this area was once under water, the land is rich in fossilized seashells and turtle shells. With the expertise of renowned oenologist Lorenzo Landi, Argillae winery offers three interpretations of Umbria, its land and its history: Orvieto, Grechetto and a red blend called Sinuoso.
Italian White Wine
The rolling hills and endless coastlines of Italy deliver a unique diversity of soils and climate to foster a number of regional specialties. With a multitude of indigenous varieties that thrive exclusively here, the selection of white wines offers a range of styles and flavors.
The most well-known white variety in Italy is of course Pinot Grigio. Typically found in the northern Italian regions, the light, fresh and easy-drinking options can be found in the Veneto region, while the richer, more complex styles come from Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige. These two northeast regions are also crafting delicions Pinot Bianco and a regional specialty, Friulano.
In Piedmont, two white regions shine. The crisp and zippy Gavi, made with a Cortese grape, and Arneis, a variety that produces a subtle by dry wine. In the Veneto, the Garganegna grape creates the wine of Soave, a zesty but medium-bodied wine full of rich stone fruit and floral notes.
Further south, you'll find the pretty and floral Falenghina, rich and tropical Grillo and zesty Greco. Head to Sicily to discover the delicious and complex Etna Biancos, made with the Carricante grape in the island's volcanic soils.