Umani Rochi, the small yet well-known producer from Abruzzo and Le Marche fame, from the center of eastern Italy, facing the Adriatic, sponsored a luncheon for a select group of wine journalists at Mario Batali’s highly-rated Del Posto restaurant in New York City.
Sure, I can write about the food: Lobster Fra Diavolo, Garganelli Verdi al Ragu Bolognese and New York Strip Steak with creamed potato torta, spinach and Calabrian spicy tongue followed by Torta di Cioccolato.
But I won’t.
What I would like to write about is the amazing and really reasonably-priced wines from Umani Rochi that should be in your house as well as the numerous restaurants that feature more than just Italian food.
I felt uncomfortable that I knew so little about the vineyard and its wine-making history. What I learned was that Umani Ronchi was founded in the 1950’s by the Bianchi-Bernetti families.
Today, the 500-plus-acre estate is solely owned by the Bernetti family. Massimo and Michele, his son and visionary for the day, run the estate, which comprises 10 distinct plots, each with unique characteristics, respecting and making the most of the terroir and indigenous vines of Le Marche and Abruzzo.
International varieties, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, are part of the future for the vineyard.
In the 1990s, Massimo Bernetti set his goals to extend the vineyards and improve the quality of the wines. New plots and consultation with experts and academic institutions helped Umani Ronchi discover the future.
That is when Michele came aboard. The future is now thanks to Michele and his efforts.
Michele has refurbished the winery and now focuses on experimental agronomy vineyard care that includes advanced techniques of cultivation and vinification, with a goal of producing only wines of the highest quality.
The 2009 “Vecchie Vigne” won the “White Wine of the Year” award from Gambero Rosso, only showcasing the steps and measures taken by Michele Bernetti and his father, Massimo, prove 30-year-old Verdicchio vines can compete with the best of them.
Success and extremely high-quality wines at reasonable prices have made Umani Ronchi a special commodity for those in the know.
The wines from Umani Roche are easy to recommend, as all of the wines I have tasted fall into a special category — buy the name of the vineyard (in this case, Umani Ronchi), and you will be overly pleased.
My recommendations include Verdecchio Castelli Di Jesu Classico Reserva 2007. This over-the-top wine shows a combination of oak, apricots and spice on the palate that create an expression of significant depth.
The 2007 Vecchie Vigne, once an aperitif wine, is a serious wine that has aging potential. Only 16,000 bottles are produced yearly with this possible futuristic Noble grape (Verdecchio).
See on www.examiner.com
I am passionate about Le Marche Region in Italy, follow me to discover it.
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