The Umani Ronchi story is one of ancient vines, land and people. Seasons waxing and waning. Harvests changing. Wines coming into being. The story began more than half a century ago at Cupramontana, in the heart of Verdicchio Classico country, and has spread further. Today Umani Ronchi is the wine estate owned by the Bianchi-Bernetti family, who since 1957 have been making superb-quality craft wines, coaxing the best out of the Verdicchio and Montepulciano that find their finest expression in Marche and Abruzzo.
From Serra dei Conti in Marche to Roseto degli Abruzzi, Umani Ronchi has a total surface area under vine of 210 hectares nestling between the hills and the sea along the Adriatic coast. The 185 km of rows are distributed across ten districts, each with its own vocation and terroir. These are numbers that tell of our ceaseless, almost feverish efforts working the finest wine lands with the help of cutting-edge vineyard management and winemaking techniques. Umani Ronchi has doubled its estate and replanted 85% of its old vines since the Seventies. We have invested in Verdicchio and Rosso Conero and recovered the Pecorino and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba varieties, always setting ourselves ambitious wine quality objectives.
All our vineyards, from the Verdicchio to the Montepulciano, are farmed organically. For us, this was a technical decision rather than an ideological one. Organic farming requires balance in nature and a range of crops, trees and herbs that make up a biodiverse environment. The plants thrive on Umani Ronchi lands leaving space for a viticulture that gets the best out of the grapes we grow without compromising the quality of the wines. At Umani Ronchi, organic means quality.
Umani Ronchi is driven by a strong sense of ethics and respects the environment lavishing attention on the territory and biodiversity. Our approach is highly practical when discussion turns to precision viticulture, machine management, vineyard treatments and organic fertilisers. Sustainability also underpins our choice of materials. Light glass bottles have a lower impact in terms of CO2 emissions and our synthetic cane sugar stoppers are 100% recyclable. Our energy is supplied by a photovoltaic array. Everything reflects a sustainable way of thinking and acting.
Umani Ronchi continues to be family-run. At the helm is Michele Bernetti with his father Massimo acting as chair. The management style is balanced. Harmonious. Solid. Far-sighted. A style that has put the land and individuals in the spotlight. Innovating. Experimenting. Investing. Making space for training, particularly for the team of young agronomists and oenologists who are the added value of any wine estate.
With a presence in more than sixty countries, the estate is active on just about every continent. Umani Ronchi has consolidated that presence in non-domestic markets such as Japan, Sweden, Canada, the United States and Germany. The estate’s wines are recognised and appreciated all over the world thanks to a network of contacts built up over the years that listens actively to the market and above all to Umani Ronchi’s refusal to compromise on the concept of quality. It all goes to show that craft winemakers can combine quality with serious production numbers.
Every year, Umani Ronchi wines win major awards and recognition from wine guides and critics. Those awards are confirmation of passionate, unstintingly meticulous work focused on extreme quality. Gambero Rosso’s Italian Wines guide gave Three Glasses to our Verdicchio Vecchie Vigne for the fourth year on the run and Doctor Wine Daniele Cernilli’s Guida Essenziale al Vino (Essential Guide to Wine) honoured Campo San Giorgio in its first vintage of production. Another triumph was at the International Wine Challenge in London, won by Pelago 1994, which was later included among the top 100 wines of ’98 by Wine Enthusiast magazine. In 2012, Gambero Rosso’s Italian Wines named Umani Ronchi’s Verdicchio Vecchie Vigne 2009 White of the Year.
For ten years, Umani Ronchi has been a member of the Istituto del Vino di Qualità - Grandi Marchi. The IVQ unites nineteen of Italy’s greatest wine labels, including Antinori, Sassicaia, Masi and Gaia, all of whom share similar values, objectives and strategies. IVQ producers interpret Italian wines for the world, conquering and consolidating international markets.
In the Sixties, Gino Umani Ronchi set up a small farm in the Marche region at Cupramontana, in the heart of Verdicchio Classico country. A few years later, the farm was taken over by the Bianchi-Bernetti family, who acquired the label as well as the land and brought new energy to the estate’s production and commercial activities.