Whether you’re a self-proclaimed oenophile or just enjoy an occasional glass of red with your favorite cut of beef, everyone can certainly agree that Italy is and will forever be, a powerhouse of wine-making. But beyond all of the Chianti and Barolo, few have sampled the velvety, full-bodied splendor of a Lazio vintage.
Though wine has been produced in the Lazio region for over 3,000 years, only recently have the region’s signature wines been receiving acclaim from the global wine community. In the Castelli Romani area, located just outside of Rome, modern viticulture began to take shape following the end of World War I when military veterans were granted plots of land by the Italian government, and began producing wines for their personal consumption. Most vineyards line the fertile slopes of the Alban Hills, where they are surrounded by groves of chestnut and olive trees that were first planted by Popes in an endeavor to provide more produce to their local communities. Today, some of Italy’s best drinking whites and reds are produced on a boutique scale in Lazio.
Cesanese del Piglio DOCG
Cesanese del Piglio is the king of all Lazio wines. It is the only DOCG designated wine from the region and is produced from the rare and hard to grow Cesanese di Affile grape. The small appellation in which these grapes are grown lies outside of Rome and comprises the towns of Piglio, Serrone, Acuto, Anagnani and Paliano, in the province of Frosinone. Cesanese del Piglio is a soft and slightly bitter wine. Variations of the wine range from sweet and easy drinking, to robust, dry and tannic. With distinct notes of blueberry and hints of tobacco, this wine lends itself to rich cheeses, and smoked pork and game, indicative of typical Roman cuisine.
Frascati white wines are known for their noble pedigree and dangerously easy drinkability. Grown along the Alban Hills in the towns of Frascati, Grottaferrata and Monte Porzio Catone, the wine is straw yellow in color and can exude a delicate to intense fruity aroma. The production of Frascati white wines include the Normal, Superior, New, Cannellino and Spumanti varieties. Frascati’s white wines are robust with velvety fruit and promise a dry, clean finish on the palate. Falling within the 11 to 11.5% alcohol range, these wines are an easy treat to enjoy, glass after glass.
The next time you stop in at your favorite wine shop or need a little something special for your weekly supper club, pick up a vintage from Lazio. You’ll certainly surprise everyone with your envy inducing palate and sommelier-esque wine sensibility.
About the author
Dejou Marano is Co-Founder of CountryBred and Founding Editor of The Bred Blog. Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Europe, Dejou seeks to bring the imagination and wonder of Europe to all travelers through her never-ending pursuit of undiscovered cultural gems and experiences, which she shares through her travel writing.
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