Carapace Tenuta Castelbuono: power, longevity and patience


Questo articolo è il risultato della collaborazione tra SapereFood e Umbra Institute, filiale italiana di alcuni college e università statunitensi con sede a Perugia. Dopo un approfondimento sul settore agroalimentare e sullle tecniche di scrittura giornalistica, gli studenti di Umbra Institute hanno visitato alcune importanti aziende della regione, raccontando la loro esperienza sul campo e contribuendo a diffondere la qualità alimentare dell’Umbria all’estero.

by Megan Davidow

Hidden in the lush rolling hills of Montefalco, a massive turtle overlooks the Tenuta Castelbuono vineyard. The Carapace, a sculpture created by world-renowned artist Arnaldo Pomodoro, is both a work of art and a working winery in the shape of a turtle’s shell.  This sleek structure amidst the rustic countryside is a beautiful fusion of art and wine, tradition and modernity. Aside from the wine being down to a science at this lovely Umbrian winery, the aesthetic of the place is rich with symbolism. The turtle represents the power, longevity, and patience of the wine. The ridges of its shell symbolize the Umbrian soil in which the grapes to produce their wine are grown.


davidow As you enter the sliding glass doors of the Carapace, a maze of copper geometric shapes line the ceiling. The copper of the interior represents the earth, and as you descend the spiral staircase, you are immersed in a sea of blue as the walls are painted to resemble the sky. Pomodoro demonstrates the connection between the earth and the sky through his design, perhaps because this wine is a gift sent from heaven. With its rich, bold taste, the Sagrantino of Tenuta Castelbuono is among the best I have tasted in the region. The team working to create these products has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion making each bottle of wine a true work of art.

davidow2We were lucky enough to meet with one of the winemakers, Luca, during our visit, and the thought and  precision that goes into him creating these wines is something that I will never forget. Each harvest is unique to the conditions of that season and goes through a 6-month fermentation process with natural yeast in clay containers that are free of chemicals. The best Sagrantino grapes are selected for the reserve batch and all of the grapes are processed with minimal use of sulfur to maintain the purity of the product and of the taste.  Never again will I so mindlessly drink a glass of wine with friends over dinner. These wines deserve to be enjoyed slowly and with appreciation for everything that got them from soil to glass. Upon drinking these wines, take the time to notice the tannins, the earthy undertones, and the boldness of the taste. It is beautiful to think that drinking these wines is a way to connect to the beautiful Umbrian landscape. Each sip is like drinking in this place and everything it stands for. 

It is also worth noting that in 2011, Tenuta Castelbuono began the transition to organic cultivation. Luca explained to us that “organic is the way of the future”, and I completely agree. When I thought this winery couldn’t be any more intriguing, finding out that they were also ecologically responsible was the cherry on the cake! If you find yourself in the Umbrian region, check out Carapace di Tenuta Castelbuono: you won’t be disappointed. Not only will your eyes be greeted with contemporary sculptures lining the green hillsides, but your taste buds will also be invigorated with the quality of the wine, and you can feel good about investing in a winery with sustainable principles.

Umbra Institute


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