Casa Julian News

A Valentines Day special For Lovers who love Chocolate

Chocolate and wine are perfect partners for Valentines day, or any other day for that matter.

Try white chocolate and Prosecco, or chocolate truffles with one of the wonderful red wines , all available from our Tenuti (Vineyards).–  a perfect present for your special person on Valentine’s Day.

When your love is written in the stars and you want to give him/ her a special gift for Valentines Day, give them this chocolate lovers 4 or 5 day trip to be held in October . If you wish this can be extended to a week to allow you time to explore for yourself this wonderful atmospheric part of Italy.

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  • a visit to the Perugia Eurochocolate Festival
  • a guided tour to the famous Perugina Chocolate factory
  • a chocolate masterclass  “the Queen of Chocolate”  at the Perugina Casa del Cioccolato
  • Chocolate liqueur making with a bottle to take home
  • day long wine tour (5 day only)

The Perugia Eurochocolate festival is held from 16th Oct-25th Oct and it is the biggest chocolate celebration in Europe. Held throughout the streets of medieval Perugia this sweetest event attracts a lot of visitors to the beautiful Umbrian city.

It will be an exciting experience with a huge quantity and variety of chocolates from many different countries. There are chocolate tastings, chocolate sculptures and chocolate workshops organized by the manufacturers.

Perugina e la Casa del Cioccolato

On the outskirts of Perugia lies the Perugina chocolate factory which is an extraordinary place for visitors to discover and delight in all of the pleasures of chocolate.

CNN named Casa del Cioccolato one of the top five destinations for chocolate lovers and the New York Times listed Casa di Cioccolato as a must see for anyone who’s in the neighbourhood of Perugia.


Day 1 arrival –free time to settle in then in the evening enjoy a romantic meal at a traditional Umbrian restaurant

Day 2 morning – tour of the Perugina factory, visiting the ‘Wonka-esque‘ world of Perugian chocolate, a 1¼-hour guided tour in English.

Lunch  Afternoon- chocolate cookery Masterclass “ the Queen of Chocolate”

Day  3  – day trip to Perugia Eurochocolate festival

Day 4 –  Make chocolate liqueur at Podere Buongustaio with Adje Middelbeek,  lunch on goats cheese & beetroot salad with walnuts and a chocolate-dressing,  followed by chocolate dessert.  Afternoon tea visit to a wonderful Patisserie ‘Michele’ in Castiglione del Lago

Day 5 -1 day wine tour.

The programme will be as above  but certain days may be changed around dependant on 3rd party availability.

Christmas Newsletter

Click here to download our Christmas Newsletter


San Martino Day

Ask any home wine maker or professional vintner about the significance of November 11th and you will likely get the response that this is the Feast Day of San Martino, patron saint of wine and wine making, the day when traditionally the first sips of ‘vino novello’ can be tasted. Ironically he is also the patron saint of alcoholics!

It is said that at San Martino “ogni mosto e’ vino” (every juice becomes wine), therefore it is time to pour a glass from the vats in which the juices have been fermenting for approximately two months and get a taste of the fruity, juicy immature wine. This taste treat is an indication of the quality, and characteristics of the year’s vintage and a preview of what’s to come when the wine ages and fully matures. It is also the perfect excuse to throw an autumn party where the new wine can be enjoyed with bruschetta doused with newly pressed olive oil and fire-roasted chestnuts among other traditional delights.

Sagras dedicated to chestnuts and new wines are celebrated throughout Italy and in particular in Venice, where the festa of San Martino is hugely celebrated. Children and adults alike will dress like the saint in crowns and red capes. The children will clang pots and pans to make noise while travelling throughout the city asking for money and candy and reciting a rhyme about their revered patron:

The legend of San Martino

The legend of St. Martin says that he was one of the Church’s first non-martyred saints to be beatified. Born in a Roman province in modern-day Hungary, his father was an army officer in the Imperial guard. St Martin himself was pressed into service and was attached to a ceremonial cavalry unit assigned to guard the Emperor. According to lore, St. Martin was riding through the gates of the city of Amiens, on a frigid evening in November, when he came upon a poor, freezing beggar. In a generous and humble gesture, St. Martin cut his military cloak in half and shared it with the man for warmth. That same night, Jesus appeared to St. Martin in a dream wearing the half-cloak and thanking him for his compassionate gesture. The legend further tells us that at the moment that the saint shared his cloak the sun came out which is why for a short period in early November we have what is called Estate di San Martino (summer of San Martino) when the weather is unseasonably warm.
Thereafter, San Martino gave up his commission as an officer to become a monk and live a humble life of service to God. Despite this he is also the patron saint of soldiers.
Why is he the patron saint of Vinters and alcoholics? It is said that when the Emperor offered St Martin the wine cup before himself, he handed it instead to a poor priest standing with him, thus showing that he counted the humble servants of God before the greatest rulers. Secondly November 11th or Martinmas was originally the feast of Bacchus among the Romans and when the Christian Church subsumed this into the feast of Saint Martin, the countrymen working in the vineyards continued to celebrate the day and came to look on Saint Martin as their Patron and drunkards were advised to invoke him to save them from their sin.

Current times

To celebrate this Saint’s day the ‘Strada di Vino’ organisation here in Umbria has created a second ‘Cantina Aperta’ day so that patrons can visit their favourite vineyards and taste the new wine. In this region Madrevita at Vaiano, Il Castello at Montegiove and several vineyards at Torgiano, Perugia and nearby Montefalco are opening their doors, so raise a glass (but not too many!) to San Martino (and to me if you like because it is also my birthday!)
Jan Julian
(Jan Julian & Adje Middelbeek run 1 day wine tours across the ‘confine’ between Umbria & Toscana).

Tre Bicchieri Awards

Tre BicchieriGambero Rosso, Italy’s prestigious organisation committed to quality wines, olive oil, restaurants & coffee recently published its ‘Tre Bicchieri’ 2013 awards for wines. Before detailing their Umbrian selection they had this to say about our Umbrian wines –
There are many good, even excellent wines, but there is a concern that in the quest for producing quality wines the local identity, originality and personality of the wines may be lost. They particularly appreciate that traditional vines are being re-introduced – Sagrantino, Ciliegiolo, Grechetto, Trebbiano Spoleto and the Trasimeno Gamay for example and see this as the way forward.
Palazzo VecchioThey gave special mention also to the wine ‘L’Andrea’ Colli Perugini Rosso 2008 which is produced by The Old winery, Il Castello, Monte Vibiano which this year won the Award for Sustainable Viticulture Situated near Mercatello between Castiglione della Valle and Marsciano it is the first vineyard to claim zero CO2 emissions and is committed to sustainable high quality production.
Montevibiano2Reproduced below is Gambero Rosso’s ‘Tre Bicchieri’ Umbrian selection –
Cervaro Hall 2010 Castello della Sala
Andrea Colli Perugini Rosso 2008 The Old Winery Castello Monte Vibiano
2008 Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino
Montefalco Sagrantino 25 Anni 2008 Caprai
Montefalco Sagrantino Field to Cerqua Tabarrini 2008
Montefalco Sagrantino 2009 Colleallodole Antano Miltiades – Larks Hill Farm
Montefalco Sagrantino Well the Cure 2009 Villa Mongalli
Orvieto Classico Superiore IN 2011 Decugnano dei Barbi
Orvieto Classico Superiore Terre Vineate 2011 Palazzone
Torgiano Rosso Vigna Monticchio Res. 2007 Lungarotti

So if you want a particularly nice wine to go with your Turkey this Christmas there are several vineyards within easy travelling distance and some delightful wines to choose from –Salute.