The region of Umbria sits landlocked in the center of Italy. With Tuscany to the Northwest, the Marches to the East and Latium with Rome to the South West, it is a beautiful region that sometimes gets lost in the conversations about Italy. Umbria has one wine that gets some international recognition; their famous white wine Orvieto. In fact, many agri-tourismo wineries surround the quaint medieval town of Orvieto which has become something of a destination for a few relaxing days while touring Italy. But, there is also a red, Sagrantino di Montefalco, which also hails from Umbria that is worth putting on your radar.
Sagrantino is grape varietal that grows only around the hilltop town of Montefalco. In fact, it is grown nowhere else in the world (although lately there have been some experiments with it in Tuscany). Its origins are mysterious. Whether the grape is indigenous to the area or not is up for debate. Some theorize that it was brought to Umbria by the Greeks, while others say it was brought by the Franciscan (French) friars. Another theory has St. Francis of Assisi bringing it from the Middle East to be used as a sacramental wine. Among the wine cognoscenti though, it is now Umbrian at its soul.