“Nature should be observed, listened to and integrated, not dominated. Wine is not made by man but is generated by nature!”
Paolo Bea’s philosophy and execution is done with the earth in mind. Not only is his wine delicious, but visiting the winery is a wine-lovers dream. Sergio, the winemaker, took my family and I around teaching us about their winery from growth to production to distribution. The wines go through natural fermentation. Interestingly, unlike other white wines, their white wine is aged for 2-3 years in steel before it is transferred to wood and then bottled.
They were able to recently build a new cellar made out of only wood, travertine, copper and cork. In the basement of the new facility, the family ages and stores their wines. Keeping with the natural elements, they have an area in the cellar without a piece of wall, which allows for direct contact between the soil and the cellar, barrels and the most importantly the wines. Their wines are so highly effected by the weather that their production was slim to none for 2013-2014 and what they did bottle was extremely different than other vintages. The winery implements organic practices but finds the term very restrictive to the process.
We were able to see a sampling from their drying process, which also allows the grapes to interact with nature creating the best wine possible. Grapes are left on these drying racks with windows open on both sides of the room on the second floor allowing for breeze, sunlight and all other elements aid in the drying of the grapes.
After a tour of the beautiful facilities including the new cellar and operational space as well as the old family home, Sergio led us to the tasting room and put out a spread of homemade bread, oil, chicken liver, cheese and prune tarts. As we tasted he directed us to try different foods with different wines. Beyond the traditional tasting menu, Sergio allowed us to try a 1995 passito directly from the barrel. It was a treat and a special project of the family’s to see how it ages.
Paolo Bea created an authentic experience for my family and I to truly understand and indulge in some beautiful wines.
Via Cerrete, 8, Montefalco PG, Italy
+39 347 340 9449
My name is Rachel Honigman and I am a junior communication major at Cornell University. I am studying abroad at John Cabot University in Rome for the spring semester. I enjoy good food with even better wine, fashion, music and modern art.