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August.  Thick, lazy summer afternoons, when the sun is at its zenith and there isn’t the slightest trace of a breeze.  When the stillness of the air vibrates with your own sluggish heartbeat and the sweat is trailing down the nape of your neck a few seconds after you wipe it off.

It was one of those afternoons deep in the heart of Umbria.  Our castle bedroom was still bearable due to its position behind a shadowed wall, but opening the windows did not bring any promise of cooling down in the next few hours.  So, might as well put on a layer of sunscreen, throw on the lightest clothes possible, fill up a few water bottles, and take a few minutes’ car-ride to nearby Montefalco.

What’s in Montefalco?  Nothing, really.  Except a plethora of vineyards that produce some of the best wine of the region.

Summer Vineyard

Summer Vineyard

The Romanelli Vineyard was wonderful, despite the heat of the day.  The owner of the place took us on a little stroll through part of its many acres of eco-sustainable farming grounds.  We learned in detail about the different types of grapes: differences in shape, color, taste, growth.  Afterwards, we were invited inside their house to taste their three main vines (Montefalco Rosso, Montefalco Sagrantino, and Montefalco Sagrantino Passito).  This was accompanied by homemade bread, delicious cheese from the region, and various cured meats of the village.  And followed by grappa.

Not only were the products extremely tasty, but the family owners of the establishment made the experience such a pleasure.  Their passion and devotion to the land is evident, and can be tasted in every drop of their wines.  It’s definitely time to restock my collection of Montefalco wines- and next time I stop by, it’s going to be a cooler day so that I can explore their entire stretch of walking paths.

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