Wine and beer in Umbria for the king of olive oil

di Andrea Guolo

Farchioni, the first Italian producer of extra virgin olive oil in modern distribution, has developed a hospitality system in Terre de la Custodia and Mastri Birrai Umbri

Their surname has become a brand in oil, but the Farchioni family was not satisfied with thriving in the business where it has been operating since 1780, making it one of the oldest producing companies still in business (and family-run). From the proceeds of the oil came the resources invested in other agri-food sectors and in particular wine and beer. Visiting Umbria, the region to which the Farchioni belong, it is therefore possible to visit their companies to get a rather precise idea of the potential offered by the green heart of Italy.

Terre de la Custodia, the barrel cellar


Terre de la Custodia is certainly Farchioni’s most ambitious project, entrusted to the care of the king of oenologists, Riccardo Cotarella, who knows Umbria very well … The company is located 5 km from Montefalco, in the hills of Gualdo Cattaneo, and its cellars enchant visitors with the presence of 450 barriques, 32 tonneaux and 3 large barrels. Here great labels such as Exubera, Sagrantino Docg Riserva, and Rubium, Rosso di Montefalco Doc Riserva are born and mature. In front of the cellar there is a large farmhouse on two floors, which houses the exhibition and tasting rooms of the company’s products, the offices, the sales point, a large living room with fireplace and panoramic terrace and other rooms intended to accommodate wine lovers, who are at the center of the property’s attention.

We are working with determination in welcoming guests because we are convinced that Umbria is a region worth discovering for Italians too” says Daniele Sevoli, Terre de la Custodia’s brand ambassador. “Visits are growing strongly even after the outbreak of the pandemic thanks to Italian tourism. We are a land of peace and relaxation, particularly close to the Romans but not very far away for the Milanese and all the main cities in the north. Wine tourism is a trend, thanks to the rediscovery of good food and great wines“.

Anteprima Sagrantino in the winery


What does Terre de la Custodia offer to the visitor? Visits to the cellar with modular tastings based on customer requests. But not only that: there is also the experience of the picnic in the vineyard and in the gardens of the estate. “Furthermore – explains Sevoli – we are fortunate to have a beautiful room on the upper floor of our guesthouse where our chef can prepare dishes to match the wines we serve. We do not do catering and we do not even do weddings, ceremonies or corporate events that would be in great demand, but we think that everyone should do their job and it would be unethical to compete with our own local customers. Food, for Terre de la Cassa, is considered a means to appreciate and best accompany our wines“. Nonetheless, a resident chef works in the company and is used by the Farchioni family for visits and for their guests. “Our owners define the guesthouse as ‘an extension of the home kitchen’ and are keen to pamper those who visit the winery” adds Sevoli.

Overhead image of Terre de la Custodia

Then there is the beer. The company owned by Farchioni is called Mastri Birrai Umbri and was born from the desire to create a short supply chain project to get craft beers with great personality and authenticity. Some of these beers are award-winning: this is the case of Cotta 21, gold medal at the 2020 New York International Beer Competition (artisanal blonde refermented in the bottle). Ingredients? Pompeo Farchioni, president of the group, wanted to enhance his cereal production, including barley, grown on an area of ​​over a thousand hectares owned by the family. The transformation of barley into malt is carried out “at home” thanks to one of the very few malt houses in Italy and which, with 6 thousand square meters of covered area, is the largest in Europe at the service of its own craft brewery, due to its production potential annual of about 900 tons. The visit to the brewery, which also produces two Italian Grape Ale (Evoca and Vinea) made with the Benedictine method, follows the entire production line and allows you to understand the complete process of making the beer. “The idea of ​​the Farchioni family is: to make the consumer understand what the product is for us and how we do it. For this reason, more than a storytelling, with us visitors will find lots of useful and precious information ”explains Sevoli. The welcome proposals start from the free tour (with a tasting included) to arrive at the aperitif formula (six tastings and food for 20 euros) and the complete dinner. Everything can be booked through the company website.

Malting in Mastri Birrai Umbri (photo taken from the company website)


While waiting for the opportunity to visit the production of extra virgin olive oil, of which Farchioni is the first Italian producer in the modern distribution market with nine controlled farms, there is a lot to see and there are many investments in sight. “The idea of ​​the group is: to have a strong presence in all areas that emphasize the territory. Tourism linked to taste and agricultural products is one of the target of the Farchioni family ”. On the hotel business there are, for the moment, no projects started, but there is no shortage of solutions in the surrounding area. Among the affiliated structures in the area there are the historic residence Grand Relais Laurenti, the result of the renovation of a convent dating back to 1500, and the La Casella di Gualdo Cattaneo farmhouse, whose historic center is one of the many jewels to visit and discover in the Umbrian territory. Not far away are Todi, Spoleto, Assisi and Perugia. Without forgetting, of course, the nearby Montefalco with its Sagrantino.

The historic residence Grand Relais Laurenti