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The Frascati Lazio Wine Region Is Perfect For A Tour

The Frascati Lazio wine region near the Eternal City offers some great wines that pair perfectly with the food of Rome and tourists need to check it out.

Frascati Lazio wine - Vineyards

Beautiful Vineyards

This guide is not for the aspiring sommelier or someone who takes wine too seriously, because that just isn’t who I am. This guide is for the traveler coming to Rome and is curious about the wines from the region and maybe would even like to visit a vineyard.

The Frascati Lazio Wine Region Is Near Rome

Lazio is the region that calls Rome its capital. It is above Campania and below Tuscany and it is the cultural center of Italy. The wines are not as well known as their counterparts from Tuscany or Veneto, but they have an ancient history that shouldn’t be missed on your next visit to Rome.

Lazio does offer some delicious red wines, but because of the land (terroir) the white wines are more popular. The volcanic hills are an excellent base for growing wine because of the fertile and porous land due to the predominance of lava and tufa soils, which are rich in potassium. This type of soil is particularly suited to white grapes by providing a good balance of acidity.

The Frascati Lazio Wine Region Is A Popular Day Trip For Wine Tasting

If you have a car on your vacation in Rome, then the options are nearly limitless. Have a designated driver and explore the beautiful countryside and vineyards near Rome. It will be especially helpful if you have a car so you can buy some bulk house wine (vino sfuso) to enjoy during your stay in Rome.

Frascati Lazio wine - Olives And Grapes

Olives And Grapes

In some cases you can just show up and taste some of their wines, but it would be better to call them or check their website to see if they have tastings in the Spring. During a recent visit to a vineyard near Rome, they recommended I come back after winter to taste their offerings, and I plan to do just that.

If you are looking for a suggestion, I’ve visited these three vineyards near Lazio and they can be reached by car, or buy public transportation and a little walking:

What Is The Best Wine To Drink In Rome?

My belief is that nobody should tell you what you should drink, unless you ask for their opinion, even to the point of enjoying white wine with meat and red wine with fish. You should drink what you like and be happy about it. If you have a family rule, as we do, that chilled white wine is only acceptable in the summer and fuller red wines are only to be enjoyed in the winter, then so be it. Admittedly, this rule has been tested a bit this winter because of an unplanned focus on Prosecco for everyday enjoyment, but that is my cross to bear.

Can You Do A Wine Tasting In The Frascati Lazio Wine Region?

If you are not interested in traveling outside of the historical center of Rome, you can still enjoy a wine tasting during your next visit. Instead of tasting the wines from a specific vineyard near Rome, you would go to a restaurant or wine store (enoteca) and try a variety from the region.

Frascati Lazio wine - Tasting

Wine Tasting

There are an almost limitless number of wine tours available online, but I unfortunately can not offer any recommendations at this point because I prefer a more “self-guided” tour, which means trying something new during every meal, paying attention to where it is from and keeping track of what you like. Fortunately, the wine menus that you will typically encounter in restaurants in Rome will indicate what region and vineyard their wine offerings are from, so just take a picture of the Lazio selections, choose one that sounds good and remember how delicious it is!

What Are The Most Popular Grape Varieties In Lazio?

The most popular red wine grapes used in Lazio wine production are the Sangiovese, Cesanese and Montepulciano grapes and the most popular white wine grapes in Lazio are the Trebbiano, Malvasia di Candia and Malvasia Puntinata grapes.

Frascati Lazio wine - Roman

Lazio Wine Region

Quality Classifications Of Wine In Italy

There are four quality and geographic classifications of wine in Italy: VdT, IGT, DOC and DOCG defined by the Italian government. The top two, DOC and DOCG, stand for Denominazione di Origine Controllata and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. These indications are on bottles of wine in Italy, for example: Chianti DOCG and Valpolicella DOC. There are around 329 DOCs in Italy and 74 DOCGs. In Lazio, there are 27 DOC designations, which are led by Frascati. The others are:

  • Aleatico di Gradoli DOC
  • Aprilia DOC
  • Atina DOC
  • Bianco Capena DOC
  • Castelli Romani DOC
  • Cerveteri DOC
  • Cesanese di Affile DOC
  • Cesanese di Olevano Romano DOC
  • Circeo DOC
  • Colli Albani DOC
  • Colli Della Sabina DOC
  • Colli Etruschi Viterbesi DOC
  • Colli Lanuvini DOC
  • Cori DOC
  • Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone DOC
  • Velletri DOC
  • Vignanello DOC
  • Zagarolo DOC
  • Genazzano DOC
  • Marino DOC
  • Montecompatri Colonna DOC
  • Nettuno DOC
  • Orvieto DOC
  • Roma DOC
  • Tarquinia DOC
  • Terracina DOC

To be considered a DOC wine you have to follow certain rules. These requirements include:

  • From what area the grapes can come
  • What grape varietals are allowed and in what percentages
  • The alcohol levels, yields and viticultural techniques that are used
  • The aging techniques that are used
  • And others

The DOCG rules are even more strict. The yields have to be even lower, the geographic area from where the wine comes is usually smaller and a tasting panel actually has to approve the DOCG status. There are three DOCG designations in Lazio, which are:

  • Frascati Superiore DOCG
  • Cesanese del Piglio DOCG
  • Cannellino di Frascati DOCG
Frascati Lazio wine - Barrel Aging

Aging In The Barrel

More Information About Wine Enjoyment And Culture

If you have enjoyed reading about the Frascati Lazio wine region, you may also be interested in these other articles about some of the vineyards around Rome, other ways to enjoy wine in Italy and the drinking culture of the country. Enjoy!

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