During my stay in the south part of Umbria, mid February, I tasted several interesting white wines of grape variety trebbiano spoletino. But unfortunately, I missed one of the most important ones, the Trebbiano Spoletino from Cantina Novelli. If my sources were correct, this had to be the producer who marketed the first varietal.
Luckily, Cantina Novelli was present at the large Umbria stand at Prowein, the large annual wine fair in Düsseldorf I attended in March. Export manager Jelena Sakic was very happy to let me taste this very special wine. Not many come and ask especially about the Trebbiano Spoletino, Jelena told me.
And I was fortunate to be able to taste this very delicious version of Umbria’s white secret. I think it is absolutely the best of the few I have tasted so far (Perticaia, Tabbarini, Raina and Antonelli San Marco).
Stefano Novelli started his Trebbiano Spoletino project in the early 2000s. With the help of Attilio Scienza of the University of Milan, the variety that was once widely available around Spoleto was intensively researched. Vines that were over 100 years and ungrafted were rescued; some of them had trunks of more then 20 cm diameter and were growing up the branches of maple trees. A first wine was put on the market in 2005. The research is still continuing at the moment, especially around DNA analysis and clonal selection. New plantings are realized and experiments with plant density and bud concentration take place.