Wine styles: Orvieto wines are generally bright, fairly light, crisp and refreshing with moderate notes of apple, pear and citrus. Depending on the level of attention in the vineyard and the cellar, the wines can be subtly complex.
Grapes: The biotype of Grechetto used in the wines of Orvieto DOC is the Grechetto di Todi. It is indigenous to the Orvieto area in Umbria, Italy and is well-suited to the local growing conditions. It is prized for its bright acidity and flavors of citrus, green apple, and minerality, which make it an essential component of the Orvieto DOC wine blend. The Grechetto di Todi grape is a versatile variety that can be used to make a wide range of wine styles, including crisp and refreshing white wines as well as more full-bodied and complex wines that are aged in oak. Trebbiano Toscano is also widely grown and although known for its high yields and neutral flavor profile, it is used in Orvieto DOC wines to add body and volume to the blend. Some producers feel it helps balance the bright acidity and minerality of the Grechetto di Todi grape.
Terroir: The town of Orvieto sits impressively on a hillside overlooking the River Tiber. Surrounded by vineyards, the area has long boasted the attributes needed to produce excellent wines, indeed boasts a viticultural heritage dating back to the Etruscan age. The terroir of Orvieto DOC is characterized by its unique combination of soil, climate, and topography. Located in central Italy, in the south of Umbria, it is known for its warm and sunny climate, a combination ideal for growing grapes. The soils in the region are primarily volcanic in origin and are rich in minerals, which provide the vines with the essential nutrients they need to grow and produce high-quality grapes. The region is also influenced by the presence of the nearby Tiber River, which helps to moderate the climate and provides additional moisture to the vines. Rolling hills and small valleys provide good exposure to the sun and good air circulation, which helps to protect the vines from fungal diseases and promotes healthy grape development. The combination of these terroir factors helps to produce high-quality grapes that are used to make the bright, crisp, and refreshing Orvieto DOC wines.
The Grechetto di Todi grape variety grows best in well-draining soils with good water retention capacity. In the Orvieto area of Umbria, Italy, the soils are primarily volcanic in origin and rich in minerals, which provides the ideal growing conditions for the Grechetto di Todi grape. The soils are well-drained, which allows the roots of the vines to penetrate deeply into the soil profile, and they have good water retention capacity, which helps to conserve moisture during the growing season. The combination of these soils with the warm and sunny climate of the region helps to produce high-quality Grechetto di Todi grapes that are used to make the bright, crisp, and refreshing Orvieto DOC wines.
History: The history of winemaking in Orvieto, Italy dates back to ancient times. The Etruscans, who inhabited the area around Orvieto more than 2,500 years ago, are believed to have been the first to cultivate grapes and make wine in the region. Over the centuries, Orvieto became a center of winemaking in central Italy and was known for its bright, crisp white wines made from the local Grechetto grape. In the Middle Ages, the wines of Orvieto were highly prized and were served at the papal court in Rome. However, the quality of Orvieto wines declined in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the region was in danger of being forgotten. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century, when winemakers in Orvieto began to modernize their techniques and embrace new technologies, that the wines of Orvieto began to regain their reputation. Today, Orvieto is once again known for its bright, fresh, and drinkable white wines that are enjoyed around the world. Orvieto was granted DOC status in 1968.