Il Palazzone is a stunningly beautiful estate, which sits atop a hill, overlooking the venerable hill town of Orvieto. A more appropriate testimony to the illustrious name of Orvieto would be hard to find. Both the estate and the wine at Il Palazzone due justice to the accolades and the unabashed praise that millennia of joyful Etruscans, Romans, and assorted moderns have heaped upon Orvieto and its lovely white wine. Orvieto Classico is certainly the most representative wine from Umbria, and it can also be one of Italy's most consistently delightful white wines. Unique among Italian white wines for its complex blend of five varietals, Orvieto is rarely an easy wine to make due to differing ripening timetables for each of the five varietals and the problems of proportionate blending. Yet, when well made, Orvieto can be truly remarkable and age worthy, too. For many years, Orvieto was a semi-sweet wine, not unlike Vouvray, but today nearly all Orvieto is vinified dry. Some producers still turn out small quantities of amabile or abboccato, the designations given to sweet Orvieto, but the very finest producers like Il Palazzone seem to impart a wonderfully rich and silky body and an intensely fruity bouquet to their wine, without the residual sugar that most contemporary wine drinkers eschew. Unfortunately, given the widespread custom of overcropping (producing too much wine from each vine), and the hasty, sometimes poor viticultural practices of many of the big commercial producers, Orvieto has lost some of the reputation that had made it a household name in Italy and abroad. Today, it is indeed tasking to find an excellent wine from this illustrious appellation. Fortunately, Il Palazzone Orvieto Classico Terre Vineate is a notable exception, reviving our faith in this great viticultural area, which may, indeed, be the oldest continually producing white wine region in the world.