Thanks to the continental climate, the clayey-limestone structure of the land and the geographical configuration in elevation that give it a happy sun exposure, Umbria is a land of great wines. Despite having a reduced and apparently homogeneous extension area of vines, the region presents a very complex oenological panorama due to the lack of coincidence of the geographical boundaries with the cultural limes, an expression of the different civilizations that have alternated over the centuries. In pre-Roman times, in fact, the Umbrians occupied a territory wider than the current one: the borders extended to the north to the Po and to the east to the shores of the Adriatic. With the Augustan subdivision in Regio VII and Regio VI, ager gallicus is incorporated in the east, while Perugia, Orvieto and the territories beyond the Tiber are assigned to Etruria.
The Orvieto district with the homonymous Trebbiano, on the one hand, and the internal area along the Flaminia with the Trebbiano Spoletino bred in expanded forms and the Sagrantino di Montefalco on the other, have their own characteristics of very different viticultures. The shores of the middle course of the Tiber seem to represent the rigid border line between Etruscans and Umbrians, but archaeological evidence, on the other hand, shows the absolute permeability of these border areas as well as the osmosis of cultures and practices between these two peoples.
The wine tradition of the Orvieto area has ancient roots. Already the Etruscans had dug wine cellars in the tuffaceous rock, which characterizes the city, and in the cool of these caves the fermentation was completed only after several months, leaving the wine with a sugar residual that contributed to decree its success. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was one of the favorite wines of the Papal Court, praised by poets, artists and famous men, including Pinturicchio. The Opera del Duomo itself bestowed it on important occasions such as the completion of important works or at the request of the head master, and it was expressly requested in work contracts, such as the one stipulated by Luca Signorelli in 1500 for the realization of the frescoes. In more recent times, it was used by Garibaldi and the Mille to toast, before leaving the port of Talamone for the Sicilian adventure; D'Annunzio called it "Sole d'Italia in bottiglia"; Enrico Fermi and the boys from Via Panisperna greeted the nuclear reaction with glasses of Orvieto. In addition to Trebbiano or Procanico in Orvieto Doc there is the Grechetto di Orvieto, a vine brought to southern Italy by Greek settlers and more widespread in the Orvieto area, in the province of Terni and partly in the province of Perugia. Verdello and the Drupeggio.
The Sagrantino is only cultivated in Umbria, in particular in the territory of the municipalities of Montefalco and part of the territory of the towns of Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, Castel Ritaldi and Giano dell'Umbria in the province of Perugia. The first testimonies that prove its presence date back to the early 500s. Some speculate that Sagrantino was imported from Asia Minor by the devotees of St. Francis returning from their preaching trips around the XIV-XV century. Its name derives from the Latin sacer = sacred for the custom of the friars to obtain a passito wine to be used in religious rites. Some monasteries in the area still preserve centenarian strains of Sagrantino bred in the form of a pergola. It seems then that the local farmers used it for the holidays and religious celebrations.
The Trebbiano spoletino, not yet registered in the register of cultivars but classified as "local spread ecotype", has its distribution area in the southern Umbra Valley crossed by the Ruicciano and Tatarena streams (Spoleto, Castel Ritaldi, Montefalco and Trevi). It is characterized by vigorous bearing and expanded forms. In the past it was cultivated frank of foot, in the form of a tree and with the support of the living tutor.