When sitting on the terrace of the estate of Le Velette, with a glass of wine in hand, it is difficult to decide which masterpiece gives more pleasure, the striking view of the Orvieto Duomo or Corrado and Cecilia (brother and sister) Bottai’s Orvieto Classico. The family owned estate of Le Velette lies high on some of the most coveted land in the heart of the zone of Orvieto Classico. Well the tradition of wine making at the estate dates back to the Etruscans, the current family has been making wine there since the 1870s. The Bottais are not people to sit on their ancient and noble laurels. They have worked hard to establish an intelligent equilibrium between tradition and modern enological techniques. Here, no grapes or wine is bought. Everything that goes into the bottle is carefully and selectively harvested from their own 90 hectares (222 acres) of vineyards. So dedicated are they to quality that they allow no more than 60 minutes at most to pass from when the grapes are picked to when they are pressed.
Orvieto should be a careful and harmonious blending of several grape types, the percentages of which are strictly dictated by DOC law. The Bottais use the minimum percentage of a select clone of Procanico (Trebbiano) and the maximum percentages of Grechetto and Drupeggio, which are the grapes that really give the wine its body and structure. They also use the maximum allowable of Verdello, which adds finesse and balance, and then add just a touch of Malvasia for dimension.