THE REGION OF UMBRIA lies in the center of Italy, sheltered on all sides by other Italian regions, including Tuscany on the northwest. As well as medieval hilltop villages and historic towns such as Assisi and Spoletto, Umbria is known for its white truffles in the fall and for its wines, particularly those made of Sagrantino. It is, in fact, the only wine region in Italy that grows the red Sagrantino grape.
Sagrantino’s arrival in Umbria is a mystery, with some sources claiming Franciscan monks brought it back from the East centuries ago and other sources claiming it is an Umbrian original. However Sagrantino came to Umbria, it does particularly well in that region’s clay, limestone and sandy soils, especially in the area around Montefalco, southeast of the region’s capital, Perugia.
These mystery vines produce deeply colored grapes that in turn make an especially dark, intense wine, with many wine professionals claiming it the most tannic of Italian reds.
One of Sagrantino’s true believers is Peter Heilbron. An Italian who spent most of his professional life as an executive in food and beverage companies, he decided some years ago to follow his true passion. He began Tenuta Bellafonte, his Umbrian winery, in Montefalco, where he dedicated 17 acres to Sagrantino vineyards. Like most Umbrian winemakers, he uses Sagrantino both in blends and as the primary grape in his wines.
Tasting his wines was to experience the full qualities of Sagrantino. Tenuta Bellafonte Montefalco Rosso Pomontino 2016 ($28–30), a blend of 80 percent Sangiovese and 20 percent Sagrantino, is a deep-colored, warm, inviting, extremely flavorful wine which owes its prominent body to the addition of Sagrantino.
We also tasted his Tenuta Bellafonte Montefalco Sagrantino Collenottolo 2013 ($50), deep-flavored, dark-shaded, intense, spicy and muscular with a smooth, forward taste. Collenottolo is the name of the vineyard where the Sagrantino grapes grow. This superb, full-bodied wine quite unlike other Italian wines offers an excellent introduction to the wines of Sagrantino.
Considering Sagrantino’s bold characteristics, it proves a perfect accompaniment to the highly flavorful winter dishes we tend to eat in the chills of January.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
While travel looks a bit different this year, TripAdvisor still named the top beaches in the world in anticipation of 2020 spring and summer travel. As people take to their cars to visit U. S. locales this summer, what is the top beach in the United States? According to the travel platform, Siesta Beach, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, in Sarasota County. On an international scale, Siesta Beach ranked No. 11.
Travelers interested in the trend of forest bathing have a new resource at their disposal. Forest Bathing Finder is an all-in-one website that connects forest bathing walkers with trained guides. Forest bathing guides list qualifications and venues, routes, walks and payment requirements for browsing forest bathers to then peruse.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
At FXExpress Publications, Inc., we can’t wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and we can’t wait for the travel industry and others to #ComeBacktoGT. Take a visual journey through Japan with us.
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Emerald Waterways is offering complimentary or reduced airfare deals on all 2021 European sailings. All 2021 bookings also now include the cruise line’s Deposit Protection Plan at no extra charge. View the company’s 2021 brochure here.