Umbria in the past has been long often overshadowed by its more famous neighbouring region of Tuscany. However it well deserves it’s nickname as “the green heart of Italy” and there is some wonderful countryside that surrounds hilltop towns of Orvieto, Assisi, Gubbio and Perugia. Near Orvieto (with its magnificent cathedral) you find the white wines of the same name, whilst further south you find the wonderful wines of Montefalco made from Sagrantino, producing brambly red wines, from which a passito wine is also made.
As a wine region it is undergoing quite a few changes as was somewhat left behind Tuscany on the international scene (with the exception of two notable producers – Lungarotti and Arnaldo Caprai who have long been the flagships estates of the region) and with 11 DOC’s and two DOCG’s in the region. More attention is now being paid to the vineyards – which is being reflected in the quality of the wine from other producers.
Umbria, as Tuscany, opts for simple wholesome cooking with grilled meats being popular as well as lots of game and soups. The region is also home to black truffles in the autumn. The olive oil is as highly rated as that of Tuscany.