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Deep Dive

Orvieto Wine: A Guide to the “Wine of the Popes”

6 Mins read
Woman pouring white wine on an empty wine glass at the top of a counter

As a wine connoisseur, you might have learned about the “Wine of the Popes,” also known as “Orvieto Wine.” Have you ever wondered how it got its famous alias? Did you ever find out why this wine is famous also in the entire world? No need to wonder further! This article will teach you everything you need to know about Orvieto Wine. Alternately, if you are looking for a red wine Brunello di Montalcino is a good choice.

Read on!

What is Orvieto wine?

Orvieto wine is a crisp and dry white from Orvieto, located in central Italy’s Umbria region. It has been around since the 1st century BC and was even popular with Popes during Medieval times. Orvieto wine has a light straw color with hints of golden yellow, along with fresh floral aromas and flavors of citrus, honey, almonds and herbs.

Orvieto is both made from native grapes and imported ones such as Trebbiano (Umbrian), Malvasia del Chianti (Tuscan), Procanico (Roman) or Grechetto (Umbrian).

White Orvieto wine inside a wine glass beside a platter filled with cheese

What makes this Orvieto wine unique?

The Orvieto Wine production is a unique blend of native Italian grapes, with both white and red varieties used. It follows a tradition of quality doc fermentation similar to the practices followed by Novello wines. Wineries that create Orvieto wine are commonly found with vineyards that produce grapes that help make doc wines. These vineyards help the best wineries in Central Italy by making each well-known white wine like Orvieto Classico. These things make wine tasting interesting, especially those liquors made from grapes grown along the regional border of the Lake Corbara. Orvieto’s production differs from Brunello di Montalcino in that Orvieto is aged for a shorter period of time – generally about six months – whereas Brunello di Montalcino is usually aged for three to five years. This gives Orvieto a fresh, crisp taste with bright acidity, which makes it perfect for pairing with lighter meals such as fish or salads.

The terroir of Orvieto grapes from Italy also contributes to its distinct flavor profile – the soils are composed of limestone and clay and the vineyard slopes provide an ideal climate for creating complex wines with mineral notes.

Where does Orvieto wine come from?

Orvieto has been made in the Orvieto region of Umbria since ancient times. Today, Orvieto is produced mainly in the steep hillsides of Orvietano and Orbetello. The most popular Orvietos come from two DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) areas – Orvieto Classico and Orviatino di Orvieto.

These wines are a favorite among Italian wine drinkers and are gaining recognition worldwide for their unique flavor profile that sets them apart from other white wines. Whether you enjoy a glass with dinner or use it to cook with, Orvieto wine is sure to bring a bright flavor.

What is the history of Orvieto wine?

Orvieto Wine has a long and storied history in Italy. It is believed to have been produced since the first century BC, when it was served at banquets and ceremonies throughout Orvieto. This wine gained notoriety during Medieval times, when Popes often drank Orvieto while in residence in Orvieto.

In more modern times, Orvieto began to be recognized outside of Italy and it became popular among European wine drinkers. Today Orvieto is still a favorite among both Italian wine lovers and those from around the world who appreciate its unique flavor profile. Whether you’re new to Orvieto or an old fan, you’ll find something special in its bizarre taste.

How is Orvieto wine made?

Orvieto Wine is made from a blend of local and international grapes, including Trebbiano (Umbrian), Malvasia del Chianti (Tuscan), Procanico (Roman) or Grechetto (Umbrian). Depending on the type of Orvieto, the blending ratios and aging times will vary. Orvietos may be aged for as little as six months or up to two years before being released.

The terroir also has an influence on Orvieto wines, with limestone-rich soils providing mineral notes that set Orvieto apart from other white wines.

Also take a look at our guide on What is wine made of?

What are the different types of Orvieto wine?

Orvieto is typically made as a dry white wine, but some producers also make sparkling Orvietos. There are two DOCG areas that produce Orvieto: Orvieto Classico and Orviatino di Orvieto. Orvieto Classico is the more traditional style of Orvieto, while Orviatino di Orvieto produces a softer and fruitier version.

Both styles can be found in both still and sparkling forms and should be enjoyed young for their vibrant flavor profile. If you’re looking for something special to pair with dinner or use in cooking, consider trying Orvieto – it won’t disappoint!

How should I drink this wine?

Orvieto is best enjoyed young and is perfect for pairing with lighter meals. Its bright acidity and fresh flavor make it a great accompaniment to fish, salads and other dishes that are not too heavy. Orvieto can also be used in cooking – its light flavor will add a unique touch to your favorite recipes.

For those looking for something special, Orvieto makes an excellent aperitif or celebratory drink. Enjoy Orvieto at its best by serving chilled in classic Italian stemware.

Man pouring a white wine on an empty wine glass beside other glasses.

What foods pair well with this wine?

Orvieto pairs well with lighter dishes such as seafood, salads, and pasta. Its bright acidity helps to balance the richer flavors of fish and other seafood dishes. Orvieto also goes great with cheeses, especially milder varieties like Pecorino Romano or ricotta.

For a truly Italian experience, pair Orvieto with some bruschetta topped with olive oil and fresh tomatoes. Or why not try Orvieto alongside traditional Umbrian dishes such as strangozzi (a type of spaghetti), wild boar ragù or truffles?

How can I learn more about this wine?

If Orvieto Wine has piqued your interest, the best way to learn more is to visit Orvieto and its wineries. Orvieto is well served by trains from Rome and other nearby cities so it’s easy to get there. There are a number of wine tours available in Orvieto, both guided and self-guided.

You can also explore Orvieto’s wines online or in stores – many producers offer direct shipping around the world. Whether you’re an old fan or new to Orvieto, its unique flavor profile makes it a great addition to any Italian wine collection!

Orvieto may still be overshadowed by its neighbor Brunello di Montalcino, but it is slowly gaining recognition in the wine world. Its unique flavor profile and versatility make Orvieto a must-try for any Italian wine lover – don’t miss out!

No matter how you enjoy Orvieto wine, its flavor will take you back to Orvieto itself – the “Wine of the Popes.” Enjoy Orvieto wines today and experience a taste of Italy’s past!

Also check out our guide to another white wine called Lugana wine.

What are some of the Orvieto wines?

Some of the Orvieto wines that you can find include Orvieto Classico DOCG, Orviatino di Orvieto DOCG, Orvieto Superiore DOC and Orvieto Abboccato DOC. Each wine has its own unique flavor profile – Orvieto Classico is a dry wine with refreshing acidity and subtle herbal notes, Orviatino di Orvieto is soft and fruity, while Orvieto Superiore is full-bodied and intense.

The range of Orvietos also includes sparkling wines such as Orvieto Spumante or “Prosecchette” (sparkling Orvieto). Orvieto wines are perfect for any occasion – from everyday meals to special occasions. Enjoy Orvieto wines today and discover a taste of Italy’s past!

A picture of a white wine bottle of Orvieto wine being poured on an empty glass.


What does this wine taste like?

Orvieto wine has a bright, refreshing acidity and subtle herbal notes that make it unique. Orviatino di Orvieto is softer and fruitier while Orvieto Superiore is full-bodied with intense notes of ripe fruits.

Is this wine dry or sweet?

Orvieto wines can range from dry to semi-sweet depending on the type. Orvieto Classico is typically a dry wine , while Orvieto Abboccato is semi-sweet.

What is this wine similar to?

Orvieto is similar to other Italian whites such as Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Verdicchio. Orvieto also shares some characteristics with French wines such as Sancerre.

Is Orvieto Classico dry?

Yes, Orvieto Classico is typically a dry wine with refreshing acidity and subtle herbal notes. The Orviatino di Orvieto is softer and fruitier while Orvieto Superiore is full-bodied with intense notes of ripe fruits.

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