Sangiovese, Italy’s most iconic grape, is best known as the star in Tuscan’s bold red wines. However, Umberto Cesari has dedicated his life to promoting this variety in its native Emilia-Romagna. The proof is in the bottle.
Umberto Cesari’s Tauleto wine does not have the same siren call as Brunello di Montalcino. But as the infamous turtle and the hare have taught us, the slow and steady win the race. It is a multi-award-winning red wine with profound elegance and a generous profile.
Slow and steady can definitely define the approach that Umberto Cesari and his namesake winery have taken towards Sangiovese over the last 50 years. This iconic Italian grape has a history that is known to stretch back to the formidable Roman Empire. And its native home is the calanchi (badlands) of the Romagnolo hills in eastern Emilia-Romagna.
This just so happens to be Umberto Cesari’s native home as well. In the 1960s, along with his wife, he set out to pursue his passion for wine and his desire to bring value to his territory. They purchased their first 20-hectare lot and began planting Sangiovese vines although everyone thought it was a crazy idea.
Sangiovese hadn’t been grown commercially in Emilia-Romagna for such a long time that even the locals regarded it as a Tuscan variety. But Umberto wanted to raise awareness of Romagnolo Sangiovese and bring new life to his marginal lands. Now, the estate counts 335 hectares, 175 of are which are estate-owned, of vineyards across the Calanchi Azzurri between Bologna and the Tuscan border.
Umberto Cesari has dedicated his life to the pursuit of Romagnolo Sangiovese and the work definitely has paid off. This can be tasted and enjoyed in the winery’s flagship label: Tauleto.
A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Uva Longaneri, Tauleto is made only in good vintages from a vineyard that is over 30 years old. Since 1999, it has won several top-level international wine awards; the latest was Silver Medal for the 2012 vintage in the 2018 International Wine and Spirits Competition.
Tauleto is considered by sommeliers as a top wine from the region and sells extremely well all around the world as a premium Italian red wine.
Fifty years of dedication has truly made Umberto Cesari a Master of Sangiovese as well as one of the most influential ambassadors of the territory. It is due to Tauleto’s success that the Sangiovese Rubicone IGT appellation was created, and the winery continues to appeal for greater appellation distinction and recognition to augment the wines of the region. Umberto leverages his influence to support the local arts & culture as both a personal patron and a key corporate value. The winery’s MOMA line runs a yearly art competition to highlight an up and coming Italian artist on their labels. In 2014, the restoration of Villa Marcona, a late 18th-century aristocratic heritage home, was completed and now serves as a special event space that melds past and present.
It is not just in Italy that Umberto is a key figure of the land. In 2011, Umberto Cesari received Winery of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London. Prestigious recognition for the holistic work of Umberto and his winery in promoting the value of their lands. The winery counts more than 3,000 visitors each year who enjoy picnics amongst the vines, private cellar tastings, and excellent hospitality.
As a member of The Grand Wine Tour, Umberto Cesari can now call themselves amongst the best wineries in Italy for wine tourism and high-quality wine. Brunello may be the hare, but Tauleto won the race.