To celebrate National Drink Wine Day (yes, it’s today!) Via Umbria will embark on a new series, Wine Wednesday, in which we discus the wines we stock in the store and our adventures at the vineyards in Italy.
This chilly Wednesday we are huddled in our wine warehouse in Adams Morgan, waiting to pick up some Plani Arche Montefalco Rosso which we completely sold out of this past week. But why the sudden interest in this wine?
This past week we have had the treat of getting to learn from Roberto DiFilippo, the vinter of Plani Arche wines. Three wine dinners in our events space and a tasting later, we feel fully inducted into the world of the Plani Arche wines.
This wine comes from near the Piandarca, close to Assisi, and is the supposed place where St. Francis preached his sermon to the birds. Plani Arche is the Latin name with evolved over the years into Piandarca, meaning the Plain of the Rock, probably because at one time there was a rock there. The very name of this wine pays homage to the land it is grown on, and the spiritual past of the place. St. Francis, in his sermon, tells the birds to give thanks to God that he has provided them with all they need naturally, and that they live in peace with the natural world due to His grace. In this vein, Plani Arche is a biodynamic vineyard, living and breathing in harmony with the land and with the animals. Nature (or if you are religious, the big man up top) provides all one needs to make beautiful, wonderful wine, without unnatural pesticides or chemicals. Praise be to God indeed.
But living in harmony “with the animals” is not taken lightly – Roberto literally uses animals in his production. Horses substitute for tractors, which preserve fossil fuels but also compact the earth in a natural way. A herd of geese nibble the harmful insects and fertilize the land. For a peek inside the vineyard, see Bill’s firsthand experience, which he wrote about a year ago while visiting Plani Arche.
Roberto is a humble man, who creates wine in harmony with the earth because being an organic vineyard is the right thing to do, not the trendy thing to do. Working with the soil in a biodynamic way not only preserves its natural tendencies, but enriches the flavor of the wine. The proof is on our shelves — it is so good we sold out.
We have to go back for more. Waiting at the chilly warehouse is worth it.
— Via Umbria