As we veered off the main road, another path in the countryside led us to the entrance of Cantina Todini (Todini Winery) on the left side. The place is tranquil with a picturesque front area. External garden chairs and tables are scattered in an orderly fashion and they overlook a vast landscape of Umbria. There are patches of land, luscious trees and rows of vineyards like soldiers. It took my breath away.
Umbrian landscape is very scenic. You see the rolling hills with outlined patches of different shades of brown and green, sometimes oranges and yellows, splashed on the left and right. It’s like a spectacular composition of patchwork with a vibrant blue sky accentuating the beautiful panorama. Although there are similarities with its beautiful neighboring regions: Tuscany, Lazio and Marche, Umbria has its own unique characteristics in its landscape and a beautiful collection of ancient hilltop towns.
Todini’s 20-hectare vineyards are principally dedicated to autochthonous grapes, Grechetto di Todi and Sangiovese while the rest of the vineyards are dedicated to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. The new winery was renovated in 2008 from its smaller and original one that was built in the 1970s by Franco Todini. At present, under the control of his daughter Luisa Todini and her partner Stefano Russo, the company has undertaken significant changes in approaching a bigger future of the winery.
Indeed, from a construction business of Franco Todini in the 1960s, the activity has grown significantly in the 1970s to a 120-hectare agricultural company of winery, livestock farming, and hunting ground. Then in 1997, the 12th-century manor in the property was renovated and turned into a five-star hotel, which is now Relais Todini. Housed at the ground level of the hotel is L’Altro Relais Ristorante of Chef John Paterson where you can try unique Umbrian dishes represented by its talented chef. Upon request, it is also possible to have a wine pairing with local dishes at the restaurant.
After a tour of the winery, we had a tasting of four of Cantina Todini‘s wines. The Grechetto di Todi 2015, Bianco del Cavaliere 2014, Rubro 2009 and Merlot 2014. The pale yellow and delicate Grechetto di Todi is made of 100% Grechetto. It was fermented in stainless steel vats for 12 days plus a short period of aging in the bottle. It is smooth and has a fruity flavor. The Bianco del Cavaliere was fermented in stainless steel vats then finished its aging in bottles for four months. Made of 100% Grechetto di Todi, it has peach and apple aromas with a smooth and full body. It has a pale yellow color and good acidity.
Deep ruby red in color and full-bodied, Rubro is made of 100% Sangiovese. It was macerated with the skins between 12-15 days, fermented in stainless steel vats then aged in French oak barrels between 12-15 months, then finally another 12 months in the bottle. It has dense tannins and flavors of wild berries.
The Merlot is made of 100% Merlot. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats and a short aging of a part of the wine in French oak barrels. It is deep red, elegant, flavors of red berries and cherry aroma.
The winery produces nine kinds of wines, one of which recently won an award.
Nero della Cervara 2013 is One of the Best Wines in Umbria 2017 (Premio per i Migliori Vini dell’Umbria 2017) given by Le Guide di Repubblica. Cantina Todini is one of the best wine producers in the region of Umbria.