In 2014 I had the opportunity to meet Luca Baccarelli and sample the wines of Roccafiore Winery. At the time, I glimpsed the breathtaking images of the winery and resort situated near Todi, a town in the province of Perugia, region of Umbria, hoping that one day I would be able to visit this magnificent property in person. Fast forward to 2016 where my wish came true on a recent trip to Italy. I have to say viewing images does not do justice to this winery and resort.
In Italian, rocca means rock and fiore means flower. Rocca symbolizes the solid structure or the rock foundation of the Roccafiore resort and winery that are the mainstay of the property. Fiore represents the beauty of the landscape, vineyards, the fruits it bares and the flora that surrounds the property. Together they build on what is the essence Roccafiore. I could feel all this the minute I set foot onto the property.
The Family Behind Roccafiore Winery
The Baccarelli name is a fixture in Italian gas and car racing. They are also heavily involved in renewable green energy, solar and bio energy. A love of his native land was what brought Leonardo Baccarelli to purchase the property that is now Roccafiore Winery.
With a zeal for life and its bounty, the Baccarelli Family shared their passion for this land with its breathtaking views by building what is now their winery, resort, restaurant and spa in this Italian paradise they call home. I sensed this fervor in a very peaceful way as I strolled the grounds. There was something very idyllic that hit me immediately and gave me a sense of admiration for what this family has created.
The Resort at Roccafiore Winery
Leonardo’s passion for cars, design and modern art comes through in many ways. His enjoyment of cars and racing is evident in the theme of the rooms at the resort. Instead of having numbered suites, they are named after prestigious cars such as Ferrari. Having owned a Porsche the sports/race car theme intrigued me. In my case I stayed in the Aston Martin DB5. I felt as if I was entering a James Bond movie since this car was featured in Goldfinger. Would Sean Connery be knocking at my door? My room was one of the larger two story suites. The décor is Danish modern meets Italy; simple yet elegant for a European styled resort. Most appealing was the comfy bed.
I found the grounds enchanting. The pool is situated to take in a countryside view with the hillside town of Todi as a backdrop. Although I visited in autumn, I could image the outdoor patio full of life during the summer months. The vegetable garden with an olive grove just behind all enhanced the beauty of Umbria. There also is an indoor pool and spa to enjoy during your stay.
The Art at Roccafiore Winery
A love of art and design permeates the architecture. From the slick line of the stairs to the contemporary art that adorns the halls and restaurant.
You will even find a contemporary collection of uniquely designed wine boxes the Baccarelli’s commissioned artists to create. This is a must see at the winery because they are so unique and awesome.
The Restaurant at Roccafiore Winery
Roccafiore’s dining room is a contemporary yet cozy setting to enjoy an Umbrian cuisine.
Those with allergies will find the chef very accommodating. This is an Italian farm to table style restaurant with food that reflects the spirit of Roccafiore.
Roccafiore Winery is totally organic. Taking a natural approach to winemaking, Roccafiore only uses organic products and avoids chemicals.
They produce 100% of the energy required to run the winery with solar power. In addition they use biofuels in their tractors, practice dry farming to reduce water consumption, use only natural yeasts and harvest the grapes manually. They believe there is a natural solution to every problem enabling them to grow healthier vines, which in turn produces better grapes.
The utilization of environmentally friendly and sustainable practices shows the extent of the family’s interest in reducing their carbon imprint in winery production, vineyards and farm through farming.
The winery, vineyards and wines have the European organic certification. Using only native grapes, Roccafiore Winery grows Grechetto di Todi, Trebbiano Spoletino, Sangiovese, Sagrantino and Montepulciano.
When Luca was in Los Angeles, I was duly impressed but tasting the Roccafliore wines in their natural environment made them even more stellar. The entire portfolio is consistent, balanced and exemplifies elegance. They show Leonardo and Luca Baccarelli’s passion of bringing the art of winemaking into harmony with nature and the land they so love.
At Roccafiore Grechetto is used in both the Bianco Fiordaliso and the Fiorfiore. The later is a 100% Grechetto that comes from older vines giving the wine more complexity. Creating an elegant long lasting wine that Luca says, “Is the best of the best” follows Fiorfiore Italian meaning, “best”. The wine is aged in larger Slovonian oak barrels allowing for delicate and less oaky flavors. The nose is that of pineapple, green apple and pear. The quality and texture of the wine is a bit reminiscent in style to Chardonnay with some tropical and stone fruit flavors along with hints of toast with vanilla, honey and a medium acidity.
With Rosé being the fade, discovering the nuances of the Roccafiore Winery’s Sangiovese based Rosé makes it the perfect wine to drink as you stroll through the vineyards or sit by the pool basking in the Umbria sun.
It is the reds that are the real stand outs at Roccafiore. The Rosso Melograno a blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano is a light more summery red aged in steel tanks.
Il Roccafiore is a Sangiovese that exudes the wonderful cherry flavors that this varietal is known for.
By far my favorite—and has remained since I first sampled the wine in 2014—is the Prova D'Autore. This is a blend of Sagrantino, Montepulciano and Sangiovese. What is unique is a portion of the grapes are dried so there is little sugar; giving the wine a bit of an Amarone character. The elegance of this wine is superb. Looking at the label of the Prova, it appears to be an artist’s palate and when you think of the blend, the wine is an artistic creation so befitting to its label.
Montefalco Sagrantino is a bolder and richer wine that is more masculine in quality.
Collina D”Oro is a dessert wine created from Moscato Giallo. The grapes are dried for 5 months and than aged in steel tanks for another 5 months to deliver a rich wine with flavors of apricot, nuts and honey.
As I am not attune to the various breeds of pigs in the world, it was interesting to discover the Cinta Senese pigs that reside at Roccafiori Winery. Although this breed of pig is considered endangered, they have DOP status in Tuscany.
Most are characterized by black and white markings. Unfortunately our piggy visit was cut short by rain. Humans, pigs and mud don’t make the best of friends therefore our group could not venture into the park grounds of Jurassic Pork but we did get to meet these piggies.
The Stroll Around Roccafiore Winery
There are many wine trials to walk along during your visit. As the skies cleared up from the rains, I was beckoned to walk from the resort to the winery.
The clear Umbrian skies and the crisp air filled me with a very content yet peacefully feeling that added to the pleasure of my stay.
A Visit to Todi
European hillside towns have an enchanting quality to them that I find intriguing. I love to wander down the streets, admire the architecture, listen to the birds and peek into the churches where I find a serenity that you don’t find in Los Angeles. This was the case in Todi, the town that can be seen along the horizon from Roccafiori Winery.
The vision of the Baccarelli's to create an environment so conducive to the region and its magnificent setting inspired me as it will you when you visit.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations, meals and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.