Umbria: Montemelino Grappolo Rosso
Color: Ruby red.
Aroma: Strawberries, cherries, and herbs.
Taste: Medium-bodied with medium acidity.
Pairing: Grilled meats and cheeses.
Overlooking Lake Trasimeno, on the northern most cusp of Umbria, this tiny farm is run by Margret and Guido Cantarelli. Montemelino’s farm is roughly 10 ha, with less than 4 being under vine. They grow Grechetto for the white wine and Sangiovese and Gamay for the red. Gamay has been growing around the lake for more than 85 years, opinions vary as to where and why it’s actually here, but it certainly has remained a relative unknown to the outside wine world. Farming is organic, the wines are naturally fermented and aged in large slavonian oak barrels that rest both under the farm house and in a tiny chapel on the property. These are humble, simple wines made in a very genuine and characterful way.