with Shelved Wine Sommelier Team

Cantina Cenci
Cantina Cenci – Night Harvest Time

Do you know someone who is a food biotechnologist, a winemaker, an oenologist, a sommelier and owner of a winery?

I’m not talking about Iron Man, but about Giovanni Cenci, the man behind Cantina Cenci. Among the beauties of Umbria (of which I have already spoken here, thanks to Morris Lazzoni) do not miss the gentle hills of San Biagio della Valle, far only a few kilometres from Perugia. Among breathtaking scenarios, you can find Cantina Cenci, where the Cenci family has been involved in viticulture for over four generations. Today, Giovanni Cenci is upgrading the family business with the same respect for the traditions that his grandfather Mario had. Mario Cenci founded the winery in the early 50s.

Giovanni Cenci
Giovanni Cenci – Current owner of the Winery

Cantina Cenci – The story

The vineyards of the company grow on lands that were owned by the Olivetan Monks, experts in selecting lands for vine and olive cultivation. In fact, the first historical hints can be traced in the written opera “Historiae Olivetanae” by Secundo Lancellotti, published in 1623. Today, Giovanni Cenci grows vineyards on these lands, rich in ancient history, with the utmost respect for the environment. He follows traditional and innovative principles. Organic farming. Read more about the Winery.

Tradition and innovation in the vineyards

Cantina Cenci
Grassing process – Cantina Cenci

The vineyards cover only 5 precious hectares of clay soil, from which Giovanni Cenci produces about 15,000 bottles each year. The cultivated vines are the most representative of the region, such as Grechetto and Sangiovese. In the last years, Giovanni has changed something fundamental for the production: first of all, the grassing. The grassing is the spontaneous growth of grass at the feet of the plants. This process has very high management costs and requires careful daily interventions but it also regulates the flow of water into the soil, limits the possibility of mould. In addition, Giovanni’s methods include defoliation, choking and thinning, in order to improve the microclimate and the quality of the bunch, minimizing the use of chemicals. The attention to tradition combined with a strong innovative idea has allowed a clear definition of viticulture identity.

Cantina Cenci Wines selection

The selection of Cantina Cenci includes six different wines, 3 whites and 3 reds. The products are available only on national territory (and on Shelved Wine!), in very limited editions.


Grechetto IGT “Anticello” 2016

Cantina Cenci needed to create their iconic wine, and for this reason, they chose the Grechetto, whose vineyards are the symbol of the cellar. Grechetto IGT “Anticello” is the most representative wine of the Estate and the terroir that surrounds it.

Grechetto IGT “Anticello” appears as a bright wine with a pale yellow colour, with golden reflections. First of all, Anticello has an extraordinary minerality feature. In the nose, it is clean, intense and quite powerful, full of spiced notes and herbal undertones, such as rosemary, hay and freshly cut grass.
Its taste is dry and crisp, with a citric and persistent finish.


Rosso IGT “Piantata” 2015

Most of all the greatest red Italian wines are made of Sangiovese vine. Its name derives from “sanguis Jovis” meaning blood of Jupiter. Rosso IGT “Piantata” is a full-bodied wine so it retains a dark ruby red colour, with purple shades. As an exciting and complex wine, with a good structure, balance and consistency, Rosso IGT “Piantata” presents sweet notes, such as berries and cherry jam, and fresh and floral notes, such as broom and geranium. In addition, the texture in the mouth is velvety and soft. The taste remembers above skin leather, in addition to the fruity and floral notes of the nose. A sour nuance vibrates in the final, as a sign of its young age, which will disappear in a couple of years.


Pinot Grigio IGT “Alago” 2016

Giovanni Cenci wanted to create a wine suitable for everyone, for all occasions. The grapes come from a small vineyard nestled in a lake, in the middle of a natural amphitheatre that is the San Biagio Valley.
Pinot Grigio IGT “Alago” appears as a lively wine so it retains a pale yellow colour, rich in greenish reflections. Fruity, floral and herbal notes, such as green apple, jasmine and freshly cut grass. The whole bouquet is delicate and delightful, as well as enveloping, with high aromatic potential. Savoury and freshness sensation make Pinot Grigio IGT “Alago” a real gourmet wine.
Its taste is dry and exceptionally saline, with a powerful note of sea-breeze in the final. Its acidity expresses citrus notes, such as lemon and grapefruit peel.


Article by Valentina Cinti – Certified Sommelier

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