Excursion to the Palazzone Winery and Orvieto
I first met Giovanni Dubini, winemaker and co-owner (with his brother, Lodovico) of the Palazzone Winery and Locanda, at dinner in Charlottesville, Virginia. Giovanni was touring the east coast with his wine rep and had led a tasting at my friend Robert Harllee’s wonderful wineshop (Market Street Wineshop) earlier that afternoon. Giovanni and his family have been making wine in the sweetly rolling hills just north of Orvieto for about 20 years now and they have established a reputation as possibly the best producers of classic Orvieto wines with an elegant, modern twist. Giovanni met us yesterday afternoon as the sun was shining and a gentle breeze was blowing through the rose bushes and grapevines. He told us the story of how his father and mother fell in love with this farm and its medieval ‘palazzo’ and decided on a whim to purchase it and learn the craft of winemaking. After touring the winery and tasting three Palazzone wines under the pergola outside – Grechetto, Campo Guardiano (my favorite) and the Rubio (a blend of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet) – we took a peek inside the Dubini’s exquisite, seven suite boutique hotel, Locanda Palazzone. If Orvieto itself weren’t beckoning us from its volcanic tufa pedestal, the cathedral’s façade glittering in the sun, I would have been tempted to check-in and, especially given the ample supply of superb wines and the cuisine of Palazzone’s resident chef, likely never check out.
Grazie mille, Giovanni – ci vediamo l’anno prossimo!!!