Discovering the wines from the Lazio region
Chianti, Prosecco, Franciacorta, Barbera, Lambrusco: these are just some of the great wines produced in Italy, all of them available to buy in your own country.
When you travel to Italy, it’s only natural to want to try them: they’re cheaper, they’re readily available, they’re, well, excellent!
So much more than just Chianti
But here’s the thing. Many visitors to Italy ignore that there is so much more to the wines of the country than just its more visible varieties!
Infact, every single region of Italy produces their own wines. In the thousands! See it for yourself when you visit a place like Eataly (in Rome, or any of its other locations): you will find that they have hundreds of different types of wine for sale. And that is simply a selection of what is available!
Due to the significant uniqueness of the soil and the atmosphere (some regions have volcanic activity, some don’t; some have mountains sheltering the grapes, some do not; some are by the sea and that informs the taste of the grapes themselves…) you can literally tour the whole of Italy and find that there are some excellent wines that are completely different in the next city over.
The unfair bad reputation of the Lazio region
Lazio, which is the region where Rome is based, suffers from this “syndrome”. It has a bad rep: of being a territory where cheap wine is made (and therefore, not particularly subtle, or even drinkable). The truth is, there are some excellent wines made in this part of the country, but they’re not very well known.
And there is no reason for it, really: you’ve got your Chardonnays or Syrahs or Merlots just like in other regions but as mentioned, while the vine may be the same, the soil and climate are different, which means the taste also will be. This results in a variety of different wines.
We listed some of the most important wineries of the region below with a few of their best known products: you can visit them instead of packing your bags for Tuscany! You’ve got the same rolling hills and the same production methods, at a fraction of the price and nearly no other tourists around! See, for example, this one wine tour south of Rome.
And if you can’t make it out of town because you don’t have enough days in the country, don’t worry! Most of the wines we mention can be sampled at VyTA, the bistro & wine shop devoted to wines originating in Lazio (you can find it on Via Frattina, by Via del Corso and the Spanish Steps), or at Terre e Domus, a similarly themed wine shop on Foro Traiano, just steps from the Monument to Victor Emmanuel and Piazza Venezia.
And now, with no further ado, here’s some names you should note down!
The name of this winery is the name of the person behind it, who’s devoted to bringing back old forgotten vines with exclusively organic wine making methods. No chemicals are used in this estate. We recommend their sparkling white, the Kius, which can give many Proseccos a run for their money!
In the same area as Marco Carpineti, this co-op produces many tipes of wines and grappas. If you do decide to visit, you can make the most of the winery’s hospitality, by staying for lunch (or dinner!). They exclusively use vines from the local territory, among them the Bellone (for white wines) and Cesanese (for hearty reds), the latter well known in ancient Rome.
A very young organic winery, founded in 2006 near Viterbo, mainly with Cabernet and Syrah vines. It mostly produces red wines, and just under 10,000 bottles a year, by making the most of the peculiar weather in the area. Their Habemus is one of the top wines in the region.
Once again, a winery taking its name from its founder, and once again in the hills around Viterbo. Their most famous wine is an often awarded Grechetto.
Poggio Le Volpi
A winery in the Castelli Romani area, which is indeed known for the production of a variety of wines from time immemorial. Founded in 1920, they do white wines, red wines and a rosé, called Roma (well of course!) which we recommend if you’re a fan of that type of wine.
Casale del Giglio
You shouldn’t have issues finding this brand in any well stocked supermarket. They use a blend of local and international grapes and produce a handful of different wines, among them the very well know Mater Matuta, an awarded red, or the Antinoo, a white.