Monte Vibiano

June 10, 2011 / Food & Wine
Marsciano, Umbria

Though you would never suspect it, in the bucolic Umbrian countryside there is a revolution going on. Dominating the plain beneath the Monte Vibiano castle, a sprawling cantina with the aesthetic of a Napa Valley winery on steroids–with its chic outdoor winebar and designer tasting room– could easily fool the casual observer. But beneath the Armani suit, Castello di Monte Vibiano Vecchio dons hemp underwear and Birkenstocks.

The first in the world to be certified at zero greenhouse gas emissions according to international standards, the winery boasts a groundbreaking cantina especially fascinating for science buffs.  Photovoltaic electricity, biofuel, organic fertilizer, managed forest, albedo roofs, sustainable mobility, and general energy efficiency–no one has more ecological street cred, and with their award-winning wines they have shown that world that the best whites and reds are those tinged with green.

But the crown jewel of their eco-bling are the small electric jeeps visitors can use to toodle around the estate. The winery itself sits in the valley, but their olive groves and vineyards cover the picturesque hillsides above and can be reached in a few fun-filled minutes of buzzing up the hill on your souped-up golf carts. After a visit to the grapevines themselves, you can come back and sample what those vines have to offer. Here they bottle not just what comes from the terroir, but what comes from the soul: a deep sense of connection and responsibility to the land and the surrounding community that makes you feel you want to be a part of this quiet revolution, as well.

Rebecca Winke

by Rebecca Winke

Owner of Brigolante Apartments, a restored 16th century stone farmhouse / guesthouse in the heart of Umbria near Assisi, and blogger of life in Umbria. For tips and insider information about visiting Umbria, download her Umbria Slow App and see her writings on her personal website!

9 Responses to “Monte Vibiano”

  1. BLUEBERRY

    DEAR REBECCA THANKS FOR YOUR ARTICLE ABOUT THIS ENERGY SAVING FARM.
    WE ARE TRYING TO DO BETTER IN OUR BLUEBERRY FARM ALSO WE HAVE PUT IN A GEO THERMAL UNIT TO HEAT AND COOL THE HAUS NOW AND WE ARE HOPING TO FIND SOLAR PANELS TO PUT ON THE BARN THAT WONT COST AN ARM AND A LEG.

    WE SAW THAT IN BAVARIA MANY BARNS HAD SOLAR PANELS AND THAT WAS SO VERY IMPRESSIVE, THAT WE NOW ARE TRYING TO COPY THAT BECAUSE WE CANNOT TRUST ANYONE SOURCE TO BE HERE FOR US FOREVER,

    WE HAVE OUR OWN GARDEN AND ONLY BUY ORGANIC WHENEVER WE CAN FIND IT ALSO WE HAVE STARTED TO GRIN OUR OWN ORGANIC FLOWER BY HAND I TELL YOU WHAT THAT IS SO HARD TO DO I NEED ALL MY STRENGHT TO GET THAT WHEEL TURNING. SO AS I AM TRYING MY BEST TO GET THAT MONSTER TO TRUN FOR ME I AM JOKING WITH MY VIKING TERMINATOR HUBBY “THIS IS BETTER THEN AN EXPENSIVE EXERCISE CLUB WORKOUT” :)

    I SEE SOME OF OUR PEOPLE HERE TRYING TO GET BACK TO THE OLD WAYS AND IT IS A GOOD SIGN WE WHERE CREATED TO WORK HARD NOT TO BE PAMPERED AROUND THE CLOCK.

    THAT’S ONLY MY OPINION,
    GOD BLESS THE BLEUBERRY GROWERS WIFE

    Reply
  2. Dennis from California

    Rebecca, absolutely exquisite article!! Makes me want to hop back on the plane to check it out! Thanks for the great article…we had a wonderful time at your great farm! The great trip to Terre Margaritelli winery and cantine….lasting memories! Pace e bene.

    Reply
  3. Toni DeBella

    Rebecca,
    That was a fun and very informative note. You have a very light and breezy way of sharing some very “eco-scientific” info. It never ceases to amaze me how “green” the “Green Heart of Italy” continues to become: The snail lives!!!!! thanks.toni

    Reply
  4. Mac McLean

    While I really like how the wine is made and the effort to be Earth friendly it’s to bad the “jeep” has to be made the old fashion way. Maybe someday a cost effective way to build things while protecting the environment; in the mean time I’ll enjoy the vino!
    Gracie Milli Toni

    Reply
  5. Linda Gasbarro

    Bravo to Mone Vibiano. I never thought of visiting that area, but with all I know now it’s a place I’d really like to see. So impressive – Viva Italia!

    Reply
  6. I find it very appealing and interesting when appropriate technology is used appropriately. The electric “jeeps” are a good example. They travel a limited distance so very expensive lithium-ion batteries are not needed, can have their conventional batteries recharged cheaply and easily at night while everyone sleeps, make very little noise and create no pollution or greenhouse gases while operating in the vineyards. Nice! I’m slightly skeptical of some of their other “green” solutions, not because they don’t work but because they might create unintended problems while trying to solve known problems. The biofuels come to mind, with all the problems associated with their generation. A more sensible solution sometimes would be simply to plant a couple of extra trees to process any carbon dioxide naturally, rather than go to great expense and create unintended problems trying to prevent any creation whatsoever of carbon dioxide. The “organic” claim is another example, famously associated on more than a few occasions with sometimes deadly E.coli poisoning. Thanks for the article, Rebecca. I think I’ll go check them out later this month, first the technology and then, equally important, the product!

    Reply
  7. Agnese

    Rebecca, Wonderful article. We will be in Spello in September. How close is this vineyard? we will not have a car. warm regards.

    Reply

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