Lazio is not only in the middle of Italy, but it is also the place where Italian wine began.
It has a culture of winemaking and a history of very interesting native vines. Finally, things are changing, and there is a clear turn toward quality. Guyot is slowly taking over even the typical tendone or espalier vineyards.
The connection to the land is getting stronger, and the renaissance of Roman wine is due to the recovery of the local ampelographic heritage and more careful winemaking techniques.
When the ancient Romans met the Etruscans, wine became a big part of their lives. In contrast to the people of Magna Graecia and the Etruscans, who were more cultured and saw wine as more than just a source of pleasure, the Romans were tough shepherds and warriors who lived a simple life and worked hard.
But soon after the Tarquins were kicked out and the Romans took over the Etruscan empire and Magna Graecia, they learned about wine. And they went about it with the hard work they were known for.
The Romans were the first to use wooden poles to support the vines. The treatises of Pliny the Elder and Columella, which teach how to run a farm at the time and have good advice that is still used today, are the basis of oenology manuals.
It is next to Tuscany to the northwest, Umbria to the north, and Marche, Abruzzo, and Molise to the east. As you go south, it is next to Marche, Abruzzo, and Molise.
In the south, Campania slowly takes over the province of Frosinone. The hill is another important factor. Most Lazio wine is made in the hills, where 70% of vineyards are located.
The sea has a moderating effect on the temperate climate, and the variety of topography, including mountains, lakes formed by volcanoes, and the sea, helps to create the best conditions for making distinctive wines. Everything is just right!
In total, there are 27 DOCs and 3 DOCGs. Aleatico, Cesanese, and Nero Buono are the three types of red grapes that are grown. Those with white grapes include Bellone, Bombino Bianco, Malvasia Bianca di Candia, Malvasia Puntinata (also called Malvasia del Lazio), Moscato di Terracina, and Trebbiano Giallo.
In Tuscia, which is part of the province of Viterbo in the north, most of the grape vines are white. Most of the wines are good, and the vines are still the same ones that the ancient Etruscans grew. It’s no coincidence that this whole area was the center of their empire.
The most important DOCs are those of Orvieto, which are shared with Umbria, and Aleatico di Gradioli, an excellent sweet wine that also comes in fortified and fortified Riserva versions.
Last but not least is the DOC Est! Est! Est! of Montefiascone, which is close to Lake Bolsena and makes elegant white wines with strong aromas of apple and hazelnut, a medium body, and a nice savory flavor that go well with fish dishes. The cultivated vines are Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia Bianca, and Trebbiano Giallo.
If we move toward the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, we’ll find another place with a long history: Cerveteri, which was called Cere when the Etruscans ruled and was one of their most important cities.
The view of the hills slowly sloping down to the sea, the beautiful lakes of Bracciano (don’t miss the village!) and Martignano, the Etruscan tombs, and the castle of Santa Severa in Santa Marinella, which is right on the water, make this a destination that is hard to beat. The wines are typical of Lazio. They are good, but they have a lot of room to improve.
The hills around Rome have always been known for their beauty and the quality of their wines. In fact, ancient Romans used to build their country homes in these hills so they could enjoy peace and the view of the lakes of Albano and Nemi. There are 9 DOCs and 2 DOCGs, which we will look at in detail.
What we want to highlight is the unique composition of the soils, which come from volcanoes and are great for growing white grape varieties.
Malvasia Puntinata grapes from an old vineyard Since a few years ago, the wines of the Castelli Romani have been going through a period of renewal. The yields are going down, and the standards are changing to ensure a return to quality and locality by using native but less productive vines, like Malvasia Puntinata, which is the star of this area.
Here you’ll find wines with floral aromas and a medium body that are often bubbly. There are also wines with more body. We talk about the DOCG Frascati Superiore, the Cannellino di Frascati, and the DOC Colli Albani, which are the three most important places.
When you walk through Anagni, it’s like going back in time. In the south-east, in the province of Frosinone, red wines from international vineyards and Cesanese del Piglio, the most famous DOCG, which comes from Piglio, Serrone, and parts of Acute, Anagni, and Paliano, are the most popular.
Cesanese del Piglio is a wine with personality. It has structure and tannins that can make it taste old if it is not taken care of properly. It is ruby red in color and has a beautiful, intense bouquet of red fruit, earthy notes, sweet spices, undergrowth, pepper, and mineral returns.
The results are good and the quality is getting better, so this land is one to think about. Do not miss the historic center of Anagni, which dates back to the Middle Ages, and the village of Alatri, which has some very interesting churches.