wine tours

New for 2015 – Magic of Muffa

 The magic of Muffa

 Vino Muffata Nobile is the romantic name given to a dessert wine  made from  Grechetto grapes which are  harvested obarberini 4nce they have been  allowed to develop a fungal mould  (quaintly called ‘the Noble  rot’) which  is uniquely found around the area of Lake Corbara near Orvieto due to  a  combination of early morning damp mists and afternoon dry sun .  The  grapes are picked by  hand when partly dried to ensure optimum  condition giving the wine its wonderful    concentrated flavour.  The fermentation process takes a year and then the wine remains in the  bottle typically for 2-3 years.  As well as being an excellent dessert wine it pairs well with a  mature cheeses such as Pecorino, Gorgonzola or a well flavoured goat’s cheese such as can be purchased nearby at il Secondo Piano Alto.

The beautiful Corbara Lake region is home to a number of excellent vineyards that not only produce the Muffa    Nobile but also wLago_di_Corbara_1onderful white wines and some  interesting reds.  We found it    hard to choose  between these quality vineyards but finally decided  on three that  we consider best represent the diversity  and quality of these wines.  Pick up for  this tour is    from your Hotel (if you are staying in Orvieto) or  from the railway  station if you are coming from  further afield.

Driving through beautiful  countryside we cross at  the foot of Corbara dam and drive through the tiny  village of Corbara to our first vineyard Il Castello di  Corbara. This vineyard  uses modern technology  but as an adjunct to their absolute commitment to producing quality wines.   Grapes are picked by hand during the cooler periods of the day to prevent unwanted fermentation, then there is strict selection to ensure only the best bunches arbarberini5e processed.  The different varieties of grape are vinified separately before a final blending takes place and the wines  then aged in oak barrels – all of which ensures a quality product -it is this attention to detail we found so impressive.  The friendly informative staff are happy to explain not only the wine process as you progress round the winery, but also their philosophy. You will sample three of their wines selected from their four reds, two whites and three ‘reserves’ with time to purchase wine and to visit their small on site shop selling local sauces, preserves, olive oil and honey.

Just a short drive away is our next stop a small registered biological estate Freddano producing great wines and the famous Muffa Nobile . This is the only certified biological winery in the area, born out of the care and rural passion of Giulio Freddano who despite recently selling the vineyard, remains at its heart as the onsite consultant and ‘expert’.  His enthusiasm, knowledge and old world courtesy makes this small vineyard an absolute must see.

Lunch is taken at a trattoria located on the shores of Lago Corbara, in good weather we eat on the terrace overlooking the lake whilst in winter time there is a roaring fire to keep patrons toasty. The pasta is ‘Fatta a casa’ (made by hand) and the style of cooking typical Umbrian country fare. Delicious local Orvieto Classico or Grechetto wines are served with the meal but robust reds are also available.

After lunch wevigneti move to our final destination a well known vineyard dei  Barbarani.  set in the hills above LagoLUIGI-E-GIOVANNA-s Cobara .  Barbarani   is an organic vineyard committed to environmental sustainability yet producing excellent wines and the wonderful vini muffata of great personality – their white LUIGI E GIOVANNA Orvieto DOC Classico  Superiore 2011 has been  awarded the Tre Bicchieri®award in the 2015 Gambero Rosso Guide. The Barbarani family are committed to respecting the environment  & sustainability, for example burying the pruned branches in the soil and using bean crops to produce organic fertilization. You will tour the winery and enjoy an explanation of their organic methods before tasting three of their wines with the opportunity to purchase before we take a leisurely return journey to your hotel.NB.  If for any reason one of these vineyards is unavailable on the day of the tour we will select one of the excellent alternative vineyards in the area.