Fate can have lovely consequences. Our fortuitous encounter with the Bea family of Umbria of course led to the unearthing of one of the great domaines of Italy. But, we have been additionally blessed as we marched together with Giampiero Bea as he made the acquaintance of the Sisters of the Cistercian order living and working at their monastery in Vitorchiano, ninety minutes or so north of Rome in the Lazio district. Here at this quiet religious outpost eighty women of this religious order work vineyards and orchards and gardens organically. Under the guidance of Bea, they produce two wines as honest and sympathetic and gracious as they are.
The vineyards are planted to a series of four essentially local white grape varieties: Malvasia, Verdicchio, Grechetto and Trebbiano.
The Coenobium: is the basic wine of the Monastery with an approximate annual production of 12000 bottles. Its intrigue comes from the volcanic soils that underlay the vineyards and the longer than usual contact that the fermenting juice has with the skins … this being a vinification technique encouraged by Bea.