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Try The Vineyards Near Rome, Italy Like L’Orto di Alberico

The vineyards near Rome, Italy have a lot to offer the wine loving world and L’Orto di Alberico is one of our favorites in the Frascati region outside the city.

vineyards near rome italy - Barrels

Aging In Barrels – Vineyards Near Rome

Are There Vineyards Near Rome, Italy?

Luckily for me, there are quite a few vineyards near Rome. Until recently, I had a Centro Storico view of Rome, traveling mostly around the historical center. I’ve been venturing beyond the GRA (Grande Raccordo Anulare), which is the highway that circles Rome. Once you go beyond the GRA, the landscape changes to include farms, vineyards and other beauties of Rome that aren’t usually considered.

Who Was The Ancient Roman God Of Wine?

Any discussion of wine in Italy should begin with a little bit of history. In the ancient Roman culture, Liber was a god of viticulture and wine, male fertility and freedom. A festival in his honor was held on March 17th, which became associated with free speech and the rights of adulthood. Interestingly, although the holiday isn’t known in modern times, March 17th is now St. Patrick’s Day, which by US standards is celebrated as a day of bacchanalia.

vineyards near rome italy - beauty

The Beautiful Vineyards Of L’Orto di Alberico

That brings us to another Roman god of Wine. They called him Bacchus, and he was the unrestrained Roman god of wine and revelry, religious ecstasy, and frenzied creativity. His mythology was influenced by the Greek god Dionysus. The modern day bacchanals and bacchanalia have come to mean any occasion of wild and drunken revelry.

Where Are The Best Wineries In Italy?

I have come to believe that there are amazing wines all over Italy. Many people in the US are familiar with the wines of Tuscany, and there are quite a few amazing vineyards in Tuscany, but I don’t believe that they are collectively better than wines from other regions in Italy. In my opinion, they have benefited from unusually strong coordination of promotion and marketing internationally leading to popularity around the world. They are, however, delicious.

Vineyards Near Rome Italy - Winter

The Vineyard Is Beautiful Even In The Winter

One Of My Favorite Vineyards Near Rome, Italy

One of my favorite realizations about Rome is how much I enjoy Lazio wines. Because of this, I decided to travel around to wineries nearby, and this weekend was a chance to visit L’Orto di Alberico, which is a winery in Fiorano, near Ciampino airport and not very far from the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love. This beautiful vineyard offers a selection of organic wines, both red and white, a restaurant, picnics, cocktails and an Experiences tour. The setting is breathtaking and you can easily forget that you are only an hour from the Colosseum.

The Wines Of The Rome Vineyard L’Orto di Alberico

The history of this vineyard is best described by them:

“The main legacy of Prince Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi is certainly the philosophy that has brought his wines to international fame for their uniqueness. The dream of being able to use pioneering techniques of the modern organic method without being tempted by intensive productions that are not respectful of nature continues in the new Principe Alberico estate. But the legacy isn’t contained just in an idea, it’s something that lives on in our Historic Vineyard: four rows of Cabernet and four rows of Merlot, together with the historic Semillon made available by a family friend, are just the point of departure to revive the wines that gave birth to the myth of Alberico.”

vineyards near rome italy - after harvest

The Vines Well After Harvest

Their high end red wine, Alberico Rosso, comes from the historic vineyard located in the Appia Antica Archaeological Park, not far from Rome. These wines are a limited production of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes which are influenced by the volcanic soil around Rome.

Their comparable white wine, Alberico Bianco, originated from a historic Sémillon vineyard located nearby. Thanks to the volcanic soil, the Sémillon grape seems to take advantage of the excellent terroir giving it characteristics of freshness, sapidity and minerality.

The economical red wine, Appia Antica 400 Rosso, also has a mineral note typical of the volcanic soils of the Roman countryside. This was what I purchased and I would recommend you do the same. It has a surprising complexity that encourages a slower enjoyment, which I typically do without food, and it made for a delightful evening.

Their comparable white wine, Appia Antica 400 Bianco, comes from the union of the Sémillon grape, and a small percentage of Malvasia grapes, which gives floral and fruity notes. As our tradition is to only drink Red wines in the winter, I will be returning in the spring to buy their white wine with all the confidence it will be delicious!

Other Products From Vineyards Near Rome, Italy

It is not uncommon for vineyards to sell products other than wine, and L’Orto di Alberico offers extra virgin olive oil and honey. I bought some EVOO, which is a 0 km product, coming directly from the historic olive groves of the estate, that I am expecting to enjoy very soon.

Does This Vineyard Near Rome Have Vino Sfuso?

I have written about house wine, known as vino sfuso, previously and it is something I enjoy greatly. As recently as yesterday, we had a vino della casa at our local favorite restaurant and it was a delicious, refreshing and inexpensive addition to our meal. Vino Sfuso in Italy has had a bad reputation, but from as far back as I can remember it has been a favorite of mine and many artisan producers today produce excellent vini sfusi. Simple and tasty but above all light and suitable for daily consumption. “Wine is not a drink, it is a liquid food.” is how the head of the National Food Safety Committee of the Ministry of Health expressed the food value of wine.

 L’Orto di Alberico vineyard does not offer vino sfuso, but I’m not very surprised. Their market is a bit more upscale than offering bulk wine, but I did ask even though I knew what the answer would be: “No”. No problem, I’ll keep hunting for it.

vineyards near rome italy - Olive Trees

Follow The Road Along The Olive Trees

How Do I Reach L’Orto di Alberico Vineyard

If you have a car, I strongly recommend that you use it to reach this vineyard. While it isn’t very far on public transportation, that last mile is a little tricky. I needed to walk along a busy road that wound around the hills, but without any sidewalk or shoulder.

If you choose public transportation, you should choose between:

  • Take the Metro A line to the Cinecittà stop, and transfer to the #520 bus to Ciampino Airport. You can take a beautiful, if not a little treacherous, 15 minute walk from there.
  • Take the Metro B line to the Laurentina stop, and transfer to the #720 bus. Get off the bus a little before the farm, at the Fioranello/Tor Di Sasso stop. You can take a beautiful and a little safer 15 minute walk from there.

Learn More About The Wine And Beer Culture In Italy

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