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LUNGAROTTI CELEBRATES A DOUBLE ANNIVERSARY: 50 YEARS OF THE WINE MUSEUM AND 60 YEARS OF RUBESCO RISERVA!

2024 will be a year to remember for Lungarotti. The historic Umbrian winery celebrates two anniversaries: 50 years of the Torgiano Wine Museum MUVIT and 60 years of Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio, Lungarotti's world-famous flagship wine.

1974-2014. The Torgiano Wine Museum turns 50. A very special birthday that will be celebrated during 2024 with numerous cultural initiatives to celebrate the art, culture and pleasure of wine that the MUVIT has been narrating for half a century. Inaugurated on April 23, 1974 by Giorgio and Maria Grazia Lungarotti, owners of the eponymous winery which has made Umbrian wine famous throughout the world, the Torgiano Wine Museum has been described by the New York Times as ‘best in Italy’ for the quality of the collections on display: over 3,000 artifacts, including archaeological finds, ceramic wine containers from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary periods, engravings and drawings from the 15th to the 20th century, and other evidence documenting the importance of wine in the collective imagination of the civilizations that have inhabited the Mediterranean basin. For the occasion, Lungarotti has created a limited edition of its Brut Millesimato celebrating MUVIT’s 50 years, featuring a label inspired by the Infantia de Bacho by Mastro Giorgio Andreoli (Gubbio, 1528), one of the Museum's most representative works.

An adventure embarked upon by Giorgio and Maria Grazia Lungarotti who, back in the 1970s, had already sensed how viticulture could generate satellite activities linked to specialized tourism, accomodations and hospitality, thus proving themselves as pioneers in wine tourism.

1964 - 2024. Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio (Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG) turns 60. It was 1964 when Giorgio Lungarotti, a pioneer of modern Italian oenology, first produced what would soon become Lungarotti's flagship wine, considered by critics as one of the best Italian reds. Giorgio had immediately realised that from the Monticchio vineyard on the hills of Torgiano, thanks to perfect exposure and unique soil, extraordinary Sangiovese grapes could be obtained. Innovative for its time, this Cru was immediately noted for its clear personality and delicate balance between power and finesse. Produced only in vintages that deserve to be recounted, Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio has evolved in style, always respecting tradition, and today reflects the acumen of the members of the Lungarotti family at the helm of the winery. "Tasting in sequence from the first vintage to the one currently on the market," explains Chiara Lungarotti"is like leafing through a book that reveals how the expression of Sangiovese has evolved over all these years, based also on environmental and climatic changes. Changes that have demonstrated the extraordinary ability of this grape variety to adapt when planted in a highly vocated territory as Torgiano has proven to be".

At Vinitaly this special birthday will be celebrated with the presentation of a commemorative packaging where some of the accolades received by this cru are reproduced, revealing its decades-long history.

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History

1962

"Cantine Giorgio Lungarotti SpA" was born: the company has announced the name of Torgiano Umbria and the world begins its history with the flagship wine, named compelling: "Rubesco", from the Latin rubescere, blush. In the same year founded the white "Tower of Gia

1970

The journalist David Peppercorn is enthusiastic and since then, for many years, begins a tight relationship with the UK. It was born also a special selection of Torre di Giano, which will be one early Italian white aged in wood.

1974

April 23 is opened, in a building of the XIV century, The Wine Museum. Developed by Giorgio and Maria Grazia Marchetti Lungarotti. It is a "trip" in the world of wine culture. The number and size of the collections of art that are on display make it an unusual link between past and future.

1976

In these years he is working on a new wine from Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Cabernet. This saw the beginning, the vintage 1977 "San Giorgio" to paraphrase the definition of "Super Tuscans", this is the first "superumbrian".

1978

Is the response to the emerging need for a guesthouse and restaurant to the many and increasing visitors to the Museum and the Winery: a link between wine, culture and hospitality.

1981

Giorgio Lungarotti creates the "Banco d'Assagio" of Italian wine (BAVI), wine competition with internation jury of journalists and foreign critics and oenologists. Innovative formula which will later be taken up by other competitions. He pushes the desire to have an opinion of national and international critics who can best address the Italian producers to market needs. Since 1983 he will pass the organization to the public institutions, which will carry up to its last edition in 2006.

1987

It is Director Maria Grazia Marchetti Lungarotti, archivist, historian and animator, since the '60s, the cultural debate on museums in Italy.

1992

The celebrations continued in the winery with a recognition to all employees who have contributed to the success in these 30 years.

1999

April 16, dies Giorgio Lungarotti. The Italian wine world lost a great wine pioneer: his passion and love for the land will relive every day in the company and in those who were able to understand and appreciate its incredible entrepreneurial skills. Daughter Chiara becomes Chief Executive of the Group companies Lungarotti, who runs with her sister Teresa Severini. Having started a few years ago, the renewal of vineyards, they continue to make innovations in the winery, and they decide to choose a consultant not only a world-famous winemaker, but above all a dear friend who knows their passion. Thus began the collaboration with Professor Denis Dubourdieu, who for Lungarotti colllaborates with Lorenzo Landi.

2005

From the 2005 vintage, Rubesco Vigna Monticchio back with the historical version revisited: a theme from the origins of innovation today.

2015

The Lungarotti Foundation and the Wine Museum partecipate of the International EXPO in Milan.

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Vineyards

HOW WE WORK

In our 250 hectares (600 acres) of vineyards, we implement innovative cultivation techniques based on sustainability and respect for the environment. Vine densities are optimized to increase competitiveness between plants, limit the production per vine and guarantee better grape quality. When we began replanting our vineyards in the mid-1990’s, we adopted planting densities of 4000 to 5000 plants per hectare, depending on the type of terrain and rootstock selected. The space between rows is 2 to 2.5 metres, while along the rows it is 0.9 to 1 metre.

 

Careful vineyard management enables us to favour accumulation and preservation of water resources, encouraging the roots to grow deeper into the soil as they search for water and nutritional elements, making the vines more resistant in case of drought. This also keeps weeds in check and obstructs the development and proliferation of disease agents

 

The prevalent trellising system used at our estates is double spurred cordon for the red grapes, while some white varietals require the double guyot system. Winter pruning is short, leaving 1 bud on each spur for the reds destined for our reserve wines and 2 buds on those destined for medium-bodied wines. This bud count results in a yield that varies from 1 kg per vine (Rubesco Riserva VIgna Monticchio, San Giorgio and Sagrantino) to 2 kg (Rubesco, Rosso di Montefalco), up to 3 kg per vine for the young red wines. The production for the whites is approximately 2.5 – 3 kg per vine for the reserve whites (Vigna Il Pino and Aurente) and 3 kg for Torre di Giano and other fresh white wines.

 

SEASONAL OPERATIONS

Green pruning in spring and summer is very important. The removal of buds, shoots, leaves and bunches during the growing phase influences vine growth during its most active phase, it has even greater impact than winter pruning. Our goal is to guarantee that the grape components preserve the primary aromas and the precursors of the secondary ones in the white varietals, while in the reds we aim for optimal concentration and balance.

 

Harvesting –  mechanical and manual – requires perfect timing: the selection of harvesting dates is fundamental for the quality of the future wine and must be determined according to our enological goal, using ripening curves which take into consideration the grapes’ sugar content, acidity, pH and in the case of red grapes, also the polyphenol content.

 

For complete and balanced grape ripening it is fundamental to have a sufficient leaf surface: indeed, the leaves ripen the grapes by photosynthesis and also shade the bunches from the sun, for direct sunlight would burn them. We use an index (LAI – leaf area index) that gives the ratio between surface of leaves exposed to photosynthesis and vine yield. With our planting densities, the leaf area of one vine varies between 1 and 1.7 square metres, depending on varietal, for each kilo of grapes produced.

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Inside information

THE HISTORY OF RUBESCO

Rubesco: its history is the history of the Company. Innovative for its time – the early 1960’s – it became immediately well known: a lovely wine with clear-cut personality. Its brilliant ruby colour and characteristics are like the Umbrians, reserved but generous. It originated from a new way to grow the vine and from selected traditional varietals, no longer vinified approximately but scientifically: a creation of Giorgio’s, of which he was proud. The wine deserved a name that could represent it and be easy to remember: not a trivial or ordinary name like the varietal or place of production, but a brand. And Maria Grazia created it. This was the birth of Rubesco, from the Latin verb rubescere, to blush. A rewarding intuition that re-launched Umbrian enology in the world with Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio contributing to the new era of Italian wines.

 

THE LABEL

The packaging has varied over the years according to the graphic tastes of the moment but has always represented the Harvest scene from one of the bas-reliefs of the Fontana Maggiore in Perugia by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano (13th century). Starting with the 2005 vintage, Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio’s label has presented a contemporary rendition of a historical version, re-vamped with  clean and contemporary graphics. A leit-motif that goes full-circle, because this wine has all the elegance and extraordinary personality which are acknowledged by its history. 

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8 different wines with 24 vintages

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