The winery is in the Doc Colli del Trasimeno area. Elisabetta and her 21 years old son, Raffaele “the hurricane” are the owners. Three wines: “Verzellino”, “Allegro” and “Terre del Cardinale”
Azienda agricola Col di Betto
Loc. Colle Umberto, Perugia – 346.1454558; 335.6362401
Average price: Reds €€ – Whites € (from € to €€€€)
by Emanuela De Pinto
The boxes are almost full. Between the clusters of grapes we hear voices and laughter, a few grapes are waiting to be collected. The fullness and roundness of the grape, so sweet and aromatic, makes you forget the fatigue of harvesting. We’re in the vineyard of the Azienda agricola Col Di Betto, in the Doc Colli del Trasimeno territory: in Colle Umberto, near Perugia.
It’s the first day of harvest for Merlot, while the Chardonnay has already been picked. We meet Elisabetta Bellucci, the owner, with her sons Giovanni and Raffaelle, 23 and 21 years old. Born in Gubbio, they bought the company in 1999, with one hectare of vineyard. They cultivated other 10 hectars to produce wine, olive oil, cereals: the best products that this land can offer. Today we’ll discover their wines.
The Azienda Col di Betto is young, but the quality is already high. Elisabetta works a lot, and besides her sons, other 10 young workers in their twenties are employed there. With its enthusiasm and hard work, this new generation creates deep bonds with the land. They are all friends of Raffaele, the “little” one. But don’t let his age fool you: he’s like a hurricane. He is also the one who takes care of the organic vineyard, which doesn’t use chemical fertilizers or treatments, only those allowed by the organic standard. Everything is harvested and worked by hand. Walking among the vineyard on this gentle hill is regenerating. Ten hectars produce six different grape varieties: Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Merlot, Vermentino, Chardonnay and Gamay.
They winery only has three labels, to “focus on quality”. “Verzellino”: Umbria Bianco Igp, from Vermentino grapes, produced for the first time in 2013. It is named for a small local bird. The wine’s color is straw yellow with green shades, the alcohol content is 13 degrees, the taste is fresh, soft and persistent on the palate. A refined simplicity, good with simple dishes like pasta with fish sauce.
The Sangiovese is called “Allegro”. Ruby red, a sip is enough to understand the love for this vineyard. 20 days of fermentation and maceration, 12 months in steel, and then aged in bottles: this wine becomes excellent when it’s aged. “Terre del Cardinale”: Umbria Rosso Igp, 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot, is the most important wine of the Col di Betto winery. It is a very elegant strong and tannic wine, full of fruity and flowery smells. Perfect with aged cheese, Umbrian cured pork products, but also with rich first courses, like homemade spelt tagliatelle, with chianina beef sauce.
The name of the company reflects its position: it is next to Villa Colle del Cardinale, that once belonged to the Della Corgna family that in 1500 owned properties from Perugia to the Trasimeno lake. The 2015 harvest will be great, both in quantity and quality. “Our wine will be one grade stronger, because the grape is perfect this year”, says Raffaele.
The care and love for their wines begins in the vineyard, supervised by the enologist Mauro Monicchi, an expert who divides his work between France and Italy. Every bottle combines tradition, quality and innovation. The Cold di Betto winery has created a brand and a web site called “Italia Premium Quality” (www.italiapremiumquality.com). Through a code, people can recognize the products made in Italy, avoiding frauds and adulterations. Different companies certify their products through this website, promoting them in Italy and abroad. Making good wine between tradition and innovation means adopting first of all a new kind of mentality.