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August 18 - August 25

Discovering the Ancient Vines of Italy with Rowena Dumlao

Discovering the Ancient Vines of Italy with Rowena Dumlao

Workshop Dates:
August 18 - August 25
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About the Workshop

"Autochthonous" refers to a variety of grape from a specific terroir. In other words, a particular type of grape adapted to a specific soil and geography, as well as to tradition. Italy is one of the countries with the most autochthonous grapes in the world - and there are 545 registered varieties for making wine! Each one has its distinguishing quality and story. Italian producers have started to revive these vines - some of which were almost extinct - and produce wines from them, just like the old times.

In this workshop, we will learn about some of these grapes, their traditions, and when occasion permits - we will meet the producers who make them. Printouts will be distributed in order to help facilitate learning during classes, wine will be tasted, and there will be afternoon visits to local Umbrian wineries. On Friday, we will make an all-day trip to Tuscany to visit some of its most distinguished vineyards. Let’s dive into the wines of Italy together and see -and taste- why this country is so very special in the world of wine!

The workshop, is led by noted food and wine critic and sommelier, Rowena Dumlau, who will present an overview and sampling of Italy’s wines organized by each of its 20 Regions. Rowena has personally selected 3-4 wines of each region that exemplify its contribution to Italy's vinicultural wealth! Each day, following an informative presentation and overview, Rowena will present a tasting of  characteristic wines of each location -  participants will sample 9-12 wines per day, for a total of over 60 wines!

For the benefit of our neighbors, we also provide a day-rate that includes: instruction, wine, and a 5-course lunch prepared by our excellent chef, Cristiano and our kitchen staff.  For day-rate pricing, please contact us at:

Participants can choose dates from the itinerary below at an “a la carte” basis.

For guests staying with us as well as for day-visitors, the itinerary is as follows:

Monday, August 19, Wines of: Umbria, Abruzzo, Marche, Tuscany


  • Palazzone: Palazzone 2019
  • ColleCiocco, Tempestivo 2020 (Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC)
  • Scacciadiavoli: Montefalco 2010 Sagrantino (Sagrantino DOCG)


  • Bossanova: Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2022 (Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, DOC)
  • Umani Ronchi: Vellodoro 2022 (Pecorino, IGT)
  • Piandimare: Monolith 2017 (Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, DOC Riserva)

Le Marche

  • Montecappone: Federico II 2022 (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore)
  • Montecappone: Violante 2022 (Marche IGT Rosso)


  • Arrighi: Valerius 2020 (Toscana IGP)
  • Marchesi Antinori: Pian delle Vigne 2015 (Brunello di Montalcino)
  • Castelvecchi: Lodolaio 2015 (Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva)
  • Fattoria di Calappiano: Collegonzi 2020 (Toscana IGT)

Tuesday, August 20, Wines of: Trentino-Alto Adige, Valle d’Aosta, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto

Trentino-Alto Adige

  • Foundazione Edmund Mach 2022: Trentino Kerner (Trentino DOC)
  • Cantina Tramin: Hexenbichler 2022 (Sudtriol – Alto Adige DOC)
  • Hofstatter: Lagrein 2021(Sudtirol – Alto Adige DOC)

Valle d’Aosta

  • Cave Mont Blanc: Rayon 2020 (Valle d’Aosta DOC)
  • Les Cretes: Torrette 2023 (Valle D’Aosta DOP Torrette)
  • La Crotta di Vegneron: Espirit Follet 2020(Valle d’Aosta DOC)

Friuli -Venezia Giulia

  • Attems: Ribolla Gialla 2022 (Venezia Giulia IGT)
  • Tenuta Mccan: Friulano 2022 (Friulano DOC)
  • Colli di Poianis: Schioppettino di Prepotto Gli Stormi 2019 (Friuli Colli Orientali DOC)
  • Marco Scolaris: Autoctono 2021 (Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso)


  • Bortolomiol: Grand Cuvée del Fondatore Motus Vitae 2020 (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG)
  • Az. Agricola Monte Zovo: Valpolicella Ripasso 2020 (Valipolicella DOC Superiore)
  • Santi: Santico 2018 (Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG)

Wednesday, August 21, Wines of: Piemonte, Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Lombardia


  • Az. Agricola Stra: Stra Nas-cetta 2020 (Langhe DOC Nas-cetta del Comune di Novello)
  • Poderi Gallino: Roero Arneis 2021 (Roero Arneis DOCG)
  • Guido Porro: V. Lazzairasco 2019 (Barolo DOCG)
  • Tenuta Montemagno: Nobilis 2018 (Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG)


  • Az. Agricola Laura Aschero: Pigato 2023 (Riveria Ligure di Ponente)
  • Az. Agricola Laura Aschero: Rossese 2021 (Riveria Ligure di Ponente)
  • Lunae: Albarola 2022 (Colli di Luni DOC Albarola)

Emilio Romagna

  • Fattoria Paradiso: Pagadebit 2022 Vigna Rotonda 2022 (Romagna DOC)
  • Fattoria Paradiso: Lo Spungone 2022 (Forli IGT)
  • Cantina Ceci: Otello Ceci Nero di Lambrusco (Emelia IGT)


  • Perla del Garda: Perla 2020 (Lugano DOP)
  • Giorgi: Bonarda dellÒltrepo Pavese 2022 (Bonarda dellÒltrepo Pavese DOC)

Thursday, August 22, Wines of : Campania, Lazio, Basilicata, Molise


  • Cantina di Marzo: Greco di Tufo 2016 (Greco di Tufo DOCG)
  • Fratelli Addimanda: Acinell’ 2018 (Campania Bianco IGP)
  • Tenuta Cavalliere Pepe: Bianco della Bellona 2022 (Irpinia Coda di Volpe DOC)


  • I Ciacca: Nostalgia 2019 (Maturano IGT Lazio)
  • Casa Divina Provvidenza: Neroniano 2017 (Nettuno DOP)
  • Principe Pallavicini: Poggio Verde 2021 (Frascati Superiore)
  • Raimondo: Nemora 2015 (Cesanese di Affile DOC)


  • Cantina Il Passo: Alberi in Piano 2017 (Aglianico Vulture DOC)


  • Di Majo Norante: Rami 2021 (Falanghia del Molise )
  • Di Majo Norante: Greco2022 (Molise Greco DOP)
  • Di Majo Norante: Tintillia 2018 (Tintillia Dell Molise DOP)

Friday, August 23, Tuscany Wine Tour - we will visit the following, renowned Tuscan Vineyards:

Saturday: August 24, Wines of: Sicily, Sardegna, Puglia 


  • Duca di Salaparuta: Calanica 2023 (Siclia DOC Grillio)
  • Principi di Butera: Carizza 2022 (Siclia DOC Insolia)
  • Planeta: Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2021 (Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG)


  • Sella & Mossa: Alghero Torbato Spumante (Alghero DOC)
  • Animas: Animas 2021 (Vermantino di Gallura DOCG Superiore)
  • Argiolas: Iselis 2022 (Nasco di Cagliari)
  • Cantina Mossa: Marmus 2021 (Cannonau in Sardegna DOC)


  • Az. Agricola Anna: Vega 2016 (Primitivo IGT)
  • Az. Agricola Anna: Filo 2019 (Negroamaro IGT Salento)
  • Susumaniello: Cabitza (Puglia IGP)


  • Benvenuto: Benvenuto Zibibbo 2022 (Calabria Bianco IGP)
  • Marcisa: Natus 2019 (Calabria Rosso IGP)
  • Senatore:  Arcano Riserva 2018 (Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva DOP)
  • Santa Venere: Speziale 2022 (Calabria IGP)

Throughout the week-long experience, participants will be housed in the remarkably well-preserved Umbrian hill town of Monte Castello di Vibio. The workshop package is all-inclusive, providing welcome and departure services and airport transfer from the Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo daVinci Airport (FCO). Aboard our comfortable private bus, single occupancy accommodations with spectacular views, 3 meals per day Monday-Thursday, Prosecco brunch and dinner on Saturday.

Of course, throughout your stay, 24/7 access to facilities and 24/7 bi-lingual support are provided.



About the Instructor

Rowena Dumlao
Born in Manila, Philippines Rowena Dumlao, moved to Italy in 1999. Here she started the path to Italian gastronomy through creating the blog, Apron and Sneakers. Soon after, worked as a recipe writer for online sites like Honest Cooking Magazine, She Knows, Mode Media, Thanksgiving, Skinny Ms., A Luxury Travel Blog, and some food companies that needed recipes created with their products. Her path to wine started in 2015 after attending some wine press tours in Eastern Europe. From 2015 to 2017, attended and passed the three-level sommelier course of Associazione Italiana Sommelier in Italy. From 2017 to 2018, took the French Wine Scholar course and passed the test in Avignon, France. In 2022, took a short course about Langhe Wines at the Barolo & Barbaresco Academy in Piedmont, Italy. She wrote for China Wine News with regards to wine events in Italy from 2017 to 2019 and contributed to The New Filipino Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Around the World. She currently writing for her own sites, The Chosen Table, Apron and Sneakers about wines and restaurants in Italy. Rowena served as judge at wine competitions such as Radici del Sud and Concorso Enologico Internazionale Vermentino of wines. She also studied at Bordeaux Agro Sciences for a short agronomy course.  
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Included Amenities

Click on the links below for detailed information about our included amenities.
View Amenities Page »
  • Airport transfer from and to the Leonardo da Vinci Rome/Fiumicino Airport (FCO) aboard our private bus (on scheduled dates only). Bus departs the airport promptly at 12PM.
  • Airport welcome service and assistance with baggage
  • 24/7 bi-lingual support with manager on site at all times
  • All ground transport aboard private buses or our ICA van, unless otherwise specified. Licensed and insured professional driver and ICA guide accompany all excursions. Orientation at each destination is provided as is departure coordination (guide service is available upon request — unless specified — for an additional fee)
  • Complimentary bottle of local wine provided in rooms on arrival day and complimentary locally made soap
  • Village orientation and complimentary drinks provided on arrival day
  • Private access to our 5-storey tower at our Palazzo Persiane (on sign-up basis) for spectacular morning and evening views
  • Access to our art materials shop (during posted hours)
  • Thorough orientation lecture and maps provided the evening before departure
  • Return transport to the Rome/Fiumicino Airport (departs 5:30AM) with rest stop
  • Departure service/airport assistance at airport
  • Unless otherwise specified, single occupancy accommodation is provided in rooms with a view of the Tiber Valley that includes sink and vanity. Rooms are with shared bath on each level (3 rooms per bath) in our 14th century convent building, The Asilo. Apartments, rooms with private bath and AC, double rooms, group or villa accommodations are available for couples, business associates/ friends, or groups for an additional fee
  • Linens and towels provided
  • Weekly housekeeping service with change of towels and linens
  • Free washing machine access
  • Good Wi-Fi connection and access to our library and film collection
  • 3 chef-catered, gourmet meals per day (buffet breakfast, 3-course lunch, 4-course dinner) — with wine at lunch and dinner (table wine provided at lunch and dinner. An excellent wine list is offered at additional cost), while in Monte Castello
  • Group dining service is as follows, with breakfast and lunch served in our dining room, etc, with dinner (weather permitting) served on our private terrace overlooking the Tiber Valley
  • Lunch and dinner are plated as follows: pasta course, main course, vegetable, fruit/salad, dessert
  • When requested at registration, vegetarian, vegan, and special dietary options are provided
  • After dinner drinks on our terrace overlooking the Tiber valley
  • Dining service is as follows: Breakfast: 8:00 AM; Lunch: 1:00PM; Dinner: 8:00 PM. No meals are served on Fridays (excursion day) unless otherwise specified
  • On Saturday and Sunday, a full buffet brunch with fresh pastry and Prosecco is served at 11:00 AM
  • On Saturday, homemade, wood-fired pizza is served at 7:00 PM (except on departure days, when a special farewell dinner is served)
  • Sunday dinner with antipasti is served at 7:00 PM
  • Farewell dinner on the evening prior to departure
  • 24/7 access to our primary building and library is provided, including access to workspaces, studios, and ceramics facility
  • Special access to certain cultural and art collections is available upon request
  • FOR VISUAL ARTISTS: private, or semi-private secure and monitored studio space is provided (24/7 access)
  • FOR WRITERS: private workspace is provided (24/7 access)
  • FOR GROUPS: Group workspace is provided (24/7 access)
  • FOR CERAMIC ARTISTS: 24/7 access to our ceramics facility
  • Free access to lectures and events at the Teatro Concordia
  • An end of the session exhibition with reception that includes hors d'oeuvres and Prosecco in our gallery. Posters are prepared to promote the event with copies provided to all participants
  • 1 excursion per week is included (unless otherwise specified in the itinerary) aboard our private bus. Additional trips can of course be scheduled and given our central location. (Day trips are possible to as far north as Siena or Florence and as far south as Rome.)
  • Advanced reservations and ticket purchases for groups and individuals
  • Concierge services provided upon request at an hourly rate
  • Restaurant reservations (provided under Concierge services)
  • Car rental
  • Critique series with visiting visual artists
  • Artist materials workshops
  • Drawing and painting sessions from the figure
  • Cooking classes
  • Cheesemaking workshop
  • Pizza-making workshop
  • Kids cooking classes
  • Wine appreciation and Sommelier Courses
  • Wine and olive oil tastings
  • Vineyard tours
  • Truffle hunting
  • Ballroom dance classes
  • Weekend excursions to flea markets and natural sites
  • Shopping excursions to cashmere and leather outlets, to Deruta famous for fine painted traditional ceramics, and antique stores
  • Overnight excursions to the sea and day-trips to Rome beaches
  • Hot air balloon tours
  • Hot springs excursions
  • Lake Trasimeno tours
  • Umbria abandoned castle and fortress tour
  • Sustainable farming tour 
  • Babysitting services
  • Soccer, archery, and horseback riding camps for kids
  • Motorized mountain bike rentals
  • Electric car rental 
  • Golf-cart tours of Rome and Florence
  • Hiking/naturalist guides to national/regional parks - mountain hiking available
  • Fishing/Hunting Excursions

Payment Options

  • Payment in full (€700 non-refundable deposit is included. No refunds will be issued within 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. See refund policy for more details).
  • Non-refundable €700 deposit (Balance due must be paid a minimum of 30 days prior to workshop).
  • Balance payment (after €700 deposit).

Required Forms

All ICA participants; whether coming independently, with a group or through a college / university, must provide the following completed forms and information to at least 2 weeks prior to attending their program. 
Emergency Contact & Medical Information »Liability Waiver »
Proof of Insurance / Travel Insurance
Itinerary and Passport
For detailed information and to download the required forms, please visit our Guides and Forms page.


Day 1: Sunday, August 18

  • Arrival at the Rome/Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International airport (FCO)
  • Our private bus departs the airport no later that 12:00 PM.  With this in mind, flights should arrive no later than 11:00 AM
  • Arrive in Monte Castello at approximately, 2:00 PM
  • Late lunch is served
  • Settle in to rooms and rest
  • 6:00 Village tour
  • 8:00 Dinner

Day 2: Monday, August 19

  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30: Lecture  and Tasting: Wines of Umbria, Abruzzo, Marche, Tuscany
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • 3:30 Winery tour - location TBA
  • 8:00: Dinner

Day 3: Tuesday, August 20

  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30: Lecture  and Tasting: Wines of Trentino-Alto Adige, Valle d’Aosta, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • 3:30 Winery tour - location TBA
  • 8:00 Dinner

Day 4: Wednesday, August 21

  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30: Lecture  and Tasting: Wines of Piemonte, Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Lombardia
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • 3:30 Winery tour - location TBA
  • 8:00 Dinner

Day 5: Thursday, August 22

  • Tuscany Wine Tour - depart 7:00 AM
  • 8:00 Dinner (Monte Castello)

Day 6: Friday, August 23

  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30: Lecture  and Tasting: Wines of Campania, Lazio, Basilicata, Molise
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • 3:30 Winery tour - location TBA
  • 8:00 Dinner

Day 6: Saturday, August 24

  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30: Lecture  and Tasting: Wines of Sicily, Sardegna, Puglia, Calabria
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • 3:30 Winery tour - location TBA
  • 8:00 Dinner

Day 7: Sunday, August 25

Depart Monte castello 5:00 AM via private bus to the Rome/Fiumicino, Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) 5:30 AM

Regrettably our timetable will not support flights leaving by 10:30 - 11:00 AM

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