Tenuta la Pazzaglia is a small vineyard with thirty acres under vines and five acres under olives. The first bunches of grapes you will see when arriving at Pazzaglia Winery are on the cheeks of the Randolfo Verdecchia, the owner of Tenuta la Pazzaglia. His smile is as radiant as his vineyard. The warmth of his welcome is unparalleled.
A couple of months ago, Randolfo invited us to celebrate the beginning of the vendemmia – the wine harvest – to taste the first just-picked grapes. The actual day turned out a little rainy, and my husband and I were exhausted and running late from too many re-construction projects on our 400 year old house. One hour after we were to arrive at Randolfo’s, you can imagine my surprise when I looked up, and saw Randolfo standing in my kitchen with a massive basket of freshly picked grapes saying: “Signora, you are not coming to my vendemmia? So I bring here the vendemmia to you!”
My husband David and I have been going to Pazzaglia Winery for four years now and continue to feel endlessly blessed.
Tenuta la Pazzaglia, close to Orvieto, is situated in one of the most magnificent settings in all of Italy. The winery rolls down the hills, down towards the Tiber Valley. The hill-top town of Castiglione in Teverina rises up in the middle distance, it’s medieval fortress securely protects Pazzaglia from the time and tide of the Tiber River.
After 11 years in the business of growing grapes, Randolfo now owns two “Top” wines in Italy’s Gambero Rosso Wine Guide. One of the top wines chosen is his white, a Grechetto called Poggio Triale. It’s denomination is Lazio White IGT; It’s fresh and well-structured with scents of peach and a pleasant after-taste. Its body assures that it stands up well and compliments an excellent lunch of salmon or shrimp. It’s also such a great value at only Euro 12 a bottle, we often enjoy it well chilled, under our fig tree with plate of sweet Pecorino Cheese and of course fresh figs
The other top wine is his Montijone, which is 100% Merlot grape. It’s denomination is Lazio Rosso IGT. Monijone is as rich and elegant red, it brings to mind a meal that I served alongside this wine, pasta with a wild boar sauce. Again, a great price at just Euro 13 a bottle.
The vineyard can be reached coming from Rome by taking the A1 Autostrada to the exit Orvieto. Take signs to Lubriano. 4 km. before you reach Lubriano you will see signs on your left to Tenuta la Pazzaglia.
©Diana G Armstrong, Food and Travel Writer. Diana lives half the year in Lubriano, Italy (which is near Orvieto, Umbria) and half the year in Denver, Colorado. Her articles have been published in magazines worldwide, such as Gourmet Magazine. Her new book is called "Somewhere South of Tuscany" www.DianaGArmstrong.com.