Wine From Italy’s green and hilly heartland

Posted on: 6th July, 2015

Category: The Wine Buff

Contributor: Tony Eklof

Tony Eklof, originally from New England, has settled in Clonakilty after a career as a librarian at University College Dublin. His knowledge and passion for wine has been inspired by frequent visits to the wine growing regions of the continent, particularly Italy and France.

Umbria is known as Tuscany’s ‘gentler sister’. Like so many parts of Italy it has a fascinating history. It was originally populated by a peaceful farming tribe called the Umbrians who were later colonised by the Etruscans and later again by the Romans. Umbria’s atmospheric hilltop towns were independent city-states until coming under the umbrella of the Papal States and eventually part of a united Italy in 1860. The province has many of the attractions that Tuscany offers without the crowds. We met some old friends from the States in Rome a few years back and after seeing the sights of the Eternal City, we took the train to the beautiful Umbrian city of Spoleto, one of Italy’s many hidden gems. Spoleto boasts a beautiful medieval centre, a spectacular 14th century aqueduct, an amphitheatre with a grim past, (some 10,000 Christian martyrs are said to have met their end here) and a massive Papal fortress overseeing the town.  It hosts one of Italy’s most important arts festivals. Aside from Spoleto, famous hilltop Umbrian towns include Assisi with its stunning Basilica di Francesco, restored to its former glory after the damage suffered during the earthquake of 1997, Orvieto, set high up on a volcanic outcrop, and smaller towns like Spello, Trevi and Todi. Umbria is the only Italian province without an international border or a coastline.

Another reason for visiting Umbria is its wonderful produce including justifiably famous olive oil and wine that has improved dramatically since the 1990s when the ‘Indicazione Geografica Tipica’ classification was introduced to the region, one of Italy’s smallest production areas.

A relatively small number (13) of Umbrian wines carry the higher DOC label and only a couple the highest DOCG rating. ‘Sangiovese’, the predominate chianti grape is most used in Umbrian wine making, but there are other indigenous grapes most notably the red Sagrantino from

Montefalco, considered a rising star of the Umbrian style. The most famous identifiable white is ‘Orvieto’ made with Trebbiano and the little- known Grechetto grape. Orvieto accounts for 70 per cent of DOC production.

While in Spoleto, we stayed at the atmospheric ‘San Luca’, located in a beautifully restored villa at the foot of the hill leading up to the historical centre of the town.

Writing this article is making me want to make a return visit!

Recommendations: Tudernum Rosso – from an excellent Cantina outside the beautiful hilltop town of Todi. €13 from Urru Culinary Store, Bandon.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jc2tlH75Q
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16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

www.eventbrite.ie/e/bandon-toastmasters-presents-ignite-your-potential-tickets-41871052445?aff=es2
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13th February, 2018  ·  

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