A magnificent site overlooking the Renaissance town of Orvieto is the setting for the historic estate of Il Palazzone. Angelo Dubini fell for the property in 1969, in part because of its heritage as a 14th century hostel for pilgrims on their way to Rome constructed under the direction of Pope Boniface VIII. Inspired by the centuries old castle and its lands, Dubini planted 25 hectares of vines and the first vintage was made in 1982.
Now, the Dubini family are immensely proud of the commitment they have made to cultivating their vineyards that are set in the gently rolling hills near to Orvieto known as Rocca Ripesena. This land is characterised by its mineral rich soil that comprises a mixture of clays, silts and sands; a complexity that is due to the fact that 3 million years ago the territory was under the sea and ‘just’ a quarter of a million years ago, volcanic eruptions from Monte Vulsini covered the area with volcanic rock and ash. Now the land is enriched by surrounding rich vegetation such as ancient oaks and chestnut trees.
The decision of which grapes to plant at Il Palazzone has been driven by both a respect for the winemaking traditions of Orvieto and the desire to create ‘wines of importance’. In the case of the former this predominately means grapes used for the golden white wine typical , including Procanico and Grechetto with some Verdello and Malvasia. And though Orvieto is not a region known for its red wines, the Dubini family also decided to follow in the tradition of what grapes have been successfully cultivated in neighbouring areas such as Tuscany, focusing their interests on Sangiovese. And there is an element of experimentation such as with Viognier for which Dubini are amongst the first to cultivate in Italy. A pure example of a historic estate that upholds its heritage in the face of change.