The warmth of hospitality and the flavors of authentic Umbria at Tenuta Vitalonga, between roots in memory and modern sustainability.
The scents and flavors of the most authentic Umbria, a region which shines in terms of gastronomic, wine and cultural excellences, crossed by an incredible variety of landscapes, come back to life through the wines and the hospitality of Tenuta Vitalonga, a certified organic farm owned by the Maravalle family, owner since four generations.
Hills with a sweet profile hiding gullies and canals and sudden crags, thick woods, mysterious lakes and the quietness of stone villages, and the remains of the Etruscans who lived in these lands thousands of years ago, but also the scents of moss, of wood, of burning wood, of fermenting musts, of exhausted barrels: in such an evocative landscape, near the medieval village of Ficulle, and few kilometers from Orvieto, among woods of secular oaks and vineyards as far as the eye can see, rises Tenuta Vitalonga, today managed by cousins Pietro, Andrea and Giacomo, who treasured the peasant experiences in order to include them in a continuous work of valorization of the territory in terms of sustainability and knowledge.
The Terroir of Tenuta Vitalonga
Vitalonga extends for about 80 hectares on the top and along the ridges of hills from 350 to 450 meters above sea level, in an area which in the far Pliocene was covered, at least in part, by the sea. Proof of this are the many fossils that it is still possible to find at surface level in the vineyards located further down the valley, at 350 meters above sea level. Here, on sandy and clayey soils, loose and drained, grow red grapes characterized by fresher and more subtle outcomes which give life to Elcione, the winery’s entry label in red or rose version, and in part to Montenibbio. In fact, geological analysis showed a certain diversity of the soil mix as they go up in height, and on the top of the hill, at 450 meters above sea level, the higher clay component gives the structure needed for the red wines for aging which represent the top of Tenuta Vitalonga’s range: Terra di Confine, Phiculle and Maravalle Franciosini 1897, the wine of the forefathers. Hot summers during the day and cool evenings, constant breezes and an optimal exposure help the daily work in the vineyard, which is organically cultivated with minimal interventions and deliberately low yields. The great attention to the management of the foliage apparatus guarantees the best conditions for the ripening of the grapes.
The Wines of Tenuta Vitalonga
At Vitalonga are cultivated autochthonous and naturalized red berried varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc among the international ones, as well as Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Today there are six labels produced, which reflect the territory also in the name.
Elcione Umbria IGT Rosso, named after the huge oak that overlooks the vineyard, from the name of the holm oak according to the local tradition, that is ‘elcio’. It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, which rests 6 months in oak casks and expresses itself with a pleasant and mineral drink.
Vitalonga Rosé Umbria IGT is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the same vineyard of Elcione, rich in fossils: an elegant and fresh rosé.
Montenibbio Umbria IGT red is named after the highest mountain in Ficulle and a vineyard at 400 meters above sea level rich in fossils. An elegant blend of merlot and sangiovese, elevated in oak barrels for 9 months.
Another refined red is Terra di confine Umbria IGT, a blend of Merlot and Montepulciano. The border is geographical between Umbria and Tuscany, geological because of the different composition of the soil and historical because of the different traditions of these lands.
Phiculle Umbria IGT has an evocative name: PHI, like the symbol of infinity in Fibonacci’s progression, and PHI like Ficulle to confirm the belonging of Maravalle family to this territory. From Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes, it rests for 15 months in oak barrels in order to acquire the typical characteristics of elegance, body and depth.
Space is also given to whites with Vitalonga Chardonnay Umbria IGT, produced with chardonnay grapes cultivated in the vineyards surrounding the estate. A variety that in this territory, characterized by a soil derived from fossil sediments with clay infiltrations, expresses a strong minerality and elegance.
The Horti of Tenuta Vitalonga
They follow the rules codified by Varrone (II century B.C.) and resumed in all Benedictine monasteries the gardens cultivated with vegetable gardens (horti), orchards (pomaria), trees (viridaria) and herbaria (erbaria). This was not a mere exercise in style, but to bring back to memory the floristic heritage prior to the discovery of America and the introduction of botanical species that did not exist until then; as well as to study their interaction with soil and climate, and to preserve many native species from extinction. A didactic work in progress, which is part of the daily work of Tenuta Vitalonga to concretely support the biodiversity necessary to preserve the environmental balance.
Osteria and Organic Oil of Tenuta Vitalonga
Of the two ancient stone houses surrounded by woods of turkey oaks, downy oaks, holm oaks and holm oaks, Tenuta Vitalonga’s tasting room with a breathtaking view on the vineyard slopes and on the surrounding woods, adjacent to the winery with its barrique cellar, is the ideal destination for wine lovers and gourmets. For those who want to complete their Umbrian experience with a full immersion in local flavors and hospitality, Tenuta Vitalonga organizes guided tastings with visits to the vineyards and to the winery, enriched by tastings of traditional cooking, with local products as much as possible at km 0. Including the gold of Umbria, the organic extra virgin olive oil that Tenuta Vitalonga produces from cultivars leccino, moraiolo and frantoio. For the most complete and gratifying experience, the Osteria, Tenuta Vitalonga’s wine restaurant, offers a la carte and thematic menus, based on Umbria’s excellence by definition: truffles, fresh pasta, game, mushrooms and other specialties, in an elegant and atmospheric environment, also thanks to the large fireplace that illuminates the room.
The Vineyard of Tenuta Vitalonga
To be tempted and stay a few days in these lands is not so rare. La Vigneria, the little farmhouse located in the highest point of Tenuta Vitalonga, is dedicated to hospitality. It offers 6 bedrooms furnished in rustic chic style and a small dependance that can accommodate up to 12 people. At guests’ disposal, a fully equipped kitchen and a large common room, comfortable and bright, heated by the imposing stone fireplace, and a beautiful garden with swimming pool overlooking the valley.
The Wine Club of Tenuta Vitalonga
Finally, it is worth mentioning the Wine Club, founded resuming an ancient passion of the founder of the winery: a real casket of enological pearls, which offers the most prestigious wines of the winery in a limited edition, dedicated to the immortal art, bottles with collectable labels, available only for club members, dedicated to Raffaello Sanzio in 2020 and to Dante Alighieri in 2021.