Italy is famous not only for delicious pizza, pasta, salami, and cheese. This country is also the largest producer of delicious wines. There are 20 wine producing regions in Italy and around 250 grape varieties are cultivated. The key role in the Italian wine industry is played by the central region named Lazio, which includes the capital. So, what wines should you try when travelling in Rome? Let's see...
Lazio is a region of white wine. It produces the best white wine from the oldest cultivated grape varieties - Malvasia and Trebbiano, which occupy more than half the area of local vineyards. Malvasia is a white grape that has been grown here for two thousand years. It was most likely brought to Italy from Greece. Trebbiano grape is no less ancient and was already known in the time of Etruscans (a civilization that existed there before Rome). Despite the predominance of white varieties, which account for 90% of finished products, red grapes in Lazio grow as well.
The leading wine region in Lazio is Castelli Romani. Landscapes of these lands were formed due to volcanic activity. The extinct craters are now water bodies, and the soil is great for growing grapes.
Perhaps the most famous wine of this part of Lazio is Frascati. A young and tender drink, the aftertaste of which is filled with hints of almond, pear and citrus, and the aroma is bright and original, with notes of walnut, peach, pineapple and tropical fruits. The Frascati blend contains malvasia, trebbiano and bonvino varieties. The main producer of wine is Colli di Catone. Previously, to try Frascati, you had to come to Italy, because wine is very moody for a long transportation. Now, modern wine-making technologies have solved this problem.
Another famous Lazio wine region is Tuscia (Tuschia) in the province of Viterbo. Wine began to be produced in these parts in ancient times: three thousand years ago, Etruscans grew grapes here. Now the pride of this area of Lazio is the world famous Est! Est !! Est !!! di Montefiascone. The drink combines such varieties as Trebbiano Tuscany, Malvasia Bianca Tuscany and Roscetto. Est! Est !! Est !!! di Montefiascone has a golden hue and harmonious taste, filled with tart musk, hawthorn fruits and ripe fruity notes.
This wine got is unusual name back in the 12th century. Local legends say that Giovanni Defuc, an Italian bishop, accompanied the English king Henry V. on a trip. Giovanni sent his page forward to report on the arrival of the royal lady and to find a hotel where they would serve the best wine in all of Italy. The doors of the hotels where the wine was suitable in quality, the servant should have marked with the inscription Est, which in Latin means "eat". The wine in the small village of Montefiascone was so exquisite and unlike anything else that he had ever tried a page that he could not resist and wrote the word three times, putting an exclamation mark after each.
70 kilometers to the south of Rome, there is a province of Latina, a part of Lazio. Local landscapes were not very suitable for growing grapes, since they were impenetrable swamps. But at the beginning of the 20th century they were drained and red varieties of wine grapes were grown here. Latria's foremost area is Aprilia, where the famous Merlot di Aprilia, a pomegranate wine with a slightly grassy taste, is produced.