Bianchini Winery, Selci, Umbria
The Bianchini winery is in the small town of Selci, situated just north of Città di Castello in the Upper Tiber Valley, Umbria. I went there yesterday with a group of trainee sommeliers to learn how to prune vines and course, to taste some of the wines!
Francesco Bianchini is the owner of the winery and has, in the last couple of years, dedicated himself full time to running the business. The cellar is the smallest commercial set up I have seen and production levels are tiny. Francesco makes 6000 bottles of Primi Passi, his excellent €6 red (which I had already tried and liked at the Città di Castello Truffle Fair last autumn) and even fewer bottles of white and his premium red, Il Calcinaio. It was a sunny spring afternoon, a perfect occasion for trying a few glasses of wine. We were unable to try the top red Il Calcinaio as it had sold out thanks to a good review by a famous local sommelier. The clay soils around Selci give the wine a nice level of minerality and the red, Primi Passi, had a pleasant tannin finish thanks to 13 months of ageing in second hand barrels.
Francesco is planning to make a champagne method sparkling chardonnay starting with this autumn’s harvest and thinks that the relatively cooler climate of the Upper Tiber Valley will be perfect for this type of wine.
If you would like to try try wines from Cantina Bianchini give Francesco a ring on +39 333 6740521 or contact him through the Cantina Bianchini facebook page. He is passionate about wine making and keen to share his enthusiasm.