Città di Castello

Smoked Vinosanto wine of the upper Tiber valley

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Tourist information and welcome office
Corso Cavour 5 - 06012 Città di Castello
info@iat.citta-di-castello.pg.it

This fortified wine, a Slow Food presidium, is produced with Trebbiano grapes, blended with Malvasia and Grechetto.


In the nineteenth century it was the exclusive task of women to select the best bunches of grapes in the vineyard or from the vines "trained to the maple tree" and then put them to dry, in pairs tied with string, in the large kitchen of the farmhouse where the grapes absorbed the odors and the fireplace, lit day and night, dried the grapes. This tradition was strongly linked to another typical local product, tobacco: the bunches of grapes were placed in the same rooms where tobacco leaves were dried.

In the first days of January the grapes were pressed and the must was put to rest in wooden barrels where the "mothers", naturally selected yeasts, were able to ferment the must at a very high sugar content. Only after three, four and sometimes more years was it racked into bottles, demijohns or kegs made from juniper wood.

Vinosanto is often amber in colour, tending towards brown, with an unmistakably sweet taste, marked acidity and great persistence. The bouquet is very intense, spicy, with hints of leather and liquorice, but the thing that makes it unique is the aroma of Kentucky tobacco. Not a wine to drink but to taste, according to tradition, accompanied by the typical sweet of the territory: the Torcolo.

The Smoked Vinosanto of the Upper Tiber Valley is not commercially available because of its limited production, but a Slow Food a Consortium is being created to protect it, to keep it available for use by chefs and restaurants and perhaps bring it to market.

Meanwhile, take the opportunity to taste it in the cellars of the producers (consortium of Vinosanto Affumicato dell'Alta Valle del Tevere) who have joined the project and who will be happy to introduce you to this excellent and delicious product, with an unmistakable smoked aftertaste, accompanied by the torcolo or the "crostini briachi" that are a feature of celebrations of the people of upper Tiber valley.