After listening to Micheal Wanbickler’s opening speech at the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference, I heard someone behind me say “ciao Melba, how are you?” The voice caught me completely by surprise as I whirled around to face the smiling animated face of Sara Goretti of Azienda Agricola Goretti Estate. I met Sara a couple of Years ago at VINITALY and was very much and pleasantly taken away by this out going, yet genuinely natural person. Her enthusiasm is very contagious when she talks about her family’s endeavors.
On the first day of the International Wine Tourism Conference during lunch, I got a chance to sit and talk to Sara about the wines her family makes and her role in the family business. Sara and her sister Gulia are the fourth generation of Gorettis to produce wines. They are passionate about the wines that they make and are very supportive of each other. Sara’s parents, Stefano and Constanza, Aunt Luisella, Uncle Gianluca, grandfather Gisberto and grandmother Marcella are also still very active by taking care of the more tedious day to day duties, while the younger generation promotes and spread the awareness of their work.
Sara explained to me that she is traveling a lot to the USA to promote her family wines. She said that because the 2003 DOCG red wine the Sangratino di Montefalco, as well as their super Umbria red 2003 DOC L’Arringatore (the wine getting its name after Aulo Metello, an ancient Italian orator) were rated by Parker and Wine Spectator, it has become difficult for them to sell in the USA. Some Importers pass them by just because they think that the wines are widely distributed where this is not the case. So she travels to the US two to three times a year to promote not only these wines, but also the other of the range.
Later that evening our group was driven to the Goretti winery located a few minutes outside of Perugia for a visit and a dinner tasting. Because we were ushered off late from the Conference, night had already fallen and unhappily we didn’t get to see the vineyards nor the grounds. However, on our arrival, the first thing we did see was the large majestic centuries-old Tower looming out at the bus. The Tower is the emblem on their wine label and where the Goretti family receives their guests for tastings, dinner parties or receptions. But before going to the Tower for our tasting, we were taken over to the boutique where there are the 18 wine products the Goretti family produces. And like many of the Italian wineries, they also produce and sell their own olive oil and honey. Another range of product that Sara develops with her sister Gulia are soaps, spa and bath items. These skins and spa treatments products are all natural products designed around the theme of wine and well-being called the S&G line of ‘Winetherapy’.
Although Umbria has many varietals, the Goretti Estate grape of choice is the Sangratino making the Montefalco reds, while the Grechetto grape is us mostly for their whites. Other red varietals they used are the Sangiovese and Merlot to make the Fontanella Rosso Dell’Umbria a fruity yet simple red wine and a rosé with the same name. A part from their Signature white “Il Moggio” and DOC Colli Perugini DOC made 100% from the Grechetto varietal, there are others. They make a blend using the Trebbiano Toscano and Grechetto varietals giving the Fontanella white wine version of the reds. Then there is the Vin Santo, a full-bodied sweet wine; two grappa with one of them aged 18 months in Lavonia oak barrels and a 20 year old brandy.
So after attending Anthony’s lecture on letting the customer talk earlier, Sara tried to put into action what she learned by giving us short explanations about their Estate while being attentive to our questions. One question on the tip of everyone’s tongue was linked to four gasoline pumps situated just to the right of the door as you entered into the boutique. Nice and shiny, they were hard to miss and sparked everyone’s interests. Apparently this is a drive up service where the locals can bring their own containers to fill up at the pump. Because the Gorettis’ can’t guarantee that the wines will travel well under these conditions, they do not sell from the pumps for export, so don’t ask.
Melba Allen, http://thewine-profilers.blogspot.com
Photo of Sara Goretti by Andrew Barrow of http://www.spittoon.biz