To discover and uncover is one of the great delights of travel – as much today as in Marco Polo’s, Captain Cook’s or Vasgo da Gama’s time. Whether the discovery is in unchartered waters or close to where one spends much time, it is always a delight to unearth the unexpected. So, after drinking many bottles of a local biologically produced wine called "Fontesecca" www.fontesecca.it/en/ when we enjoy our countless meals at our favourite family operated restaurant own town in Citta della Pieve, "Bruno Coppetta" www.en.trattoriabrunocoppetta.com/, we decided it was time to source the grower /producer!
Like with many hidden gems, it turned out to be in a place we drive past regularly, but just slightly off the main road out of vision. Paolo Bolla the owner of Fontesecca wines, has a 4 generational heritage in wine manufacture, and was originally from the Verona area where he learnt his trade in the family business. In search of new unspoilt terrain, he and his family moved to the Umbrian hills in 2004 and began an independent winery that today produces a limited quantity of excellent wines plus extra virgin olive oil, all grown on their land. The delightful part about their production methods is their organic farming approach, a respect for the land, nature & time which seems to be a recurring narrative in this part of the world.
The wines we have previously tasted are a fabulous red wine called "Pino" (named after Paolo Bolla’s father), which is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes and exudes a spicy, slightly floral, full rounded taste with which as Australians, we are familiar. It is absolutely delicious and with a dark ruby red colour, it looks as good as it tastes. The white wine, "Elso" (named after the man who planted the original vines 40years ago) also has a wonderful 3 dimensional layered taste being a mix of local varieties of Trebbiano, Toscano, Grechetto & Malvasia grapes. With a colour of wet straw, we can testify it is a superb wine to enjoy with lunch during the warmer months. They also produce several other wines and needless to say we purchased the whole range to be sure!
The terrain from millennia ago used to be sea and we were told that when ploughing the soil to plant the new vines they found many fossilised shells which is where the symbol on their label is derived. Today these shells are proudly displayed to show the geographical history of the region and Paolo mentioned that these crustaceans add to the saltiness of the soil and contribute to the grape's end taste for the wine production.
Uncovering local gems like this, we feel are peeling back the historical layers that have shaped this Umbrian region for centuries.