Umbria, known as “the green heart of Italy”, is the only landlocked province in Italy. Located south of Tuscany, at a crossroads between the North and the South, between the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian seas, Umbria has seen vines and wines since the ancient Etruscans. Settled amid the Apennines hills and mountains, the Etruscans were a mysterious pre-Roman society inhabiting present-day Umbria, whose chieftains and priests three millennia ago put wine at the center of their festivals and religious ceremonies.
The Etruscans built Orvieto, Umbria’s capital in the province of Terni, on a tufa base; tufa is a variety of limestone, which is a key component in the Orvieto appellation’s terroir. The Romans, who conquered the Etruscans, called it Urbs Vetus (old city). The city’s name also graces Umbria’s most prestigious white wine, Orvieto, which Cantine Bigi has for decades been one of its most renowned producers.
The Orvieto Classico DOC appellation was established in 1931 by the Italian Government; its vineyards cover the central and best areas of Orvieto. Those areas are the source of the grapes for Bigi’s Orvieto Classico DOC and Amabile wines. (see below).
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