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Lazio

Lazio is one of Italy’s most underrated wine producing regions. It’s unfortunate as Lazio is uniquely suited to winemaking with its mild climate, rich and varied geological mix of soils (among which volcanic soils are prominent), marine breezes, adequate rainfall, pronounced day-night temperature variation and a plethora of rare, high-quality native grape varieties.

Historically, Lazio has made wine since ancient times and well before the Roman Empire. There is generally more white wine than red although red wine production has been steadily increasing.

The most common white grapes are Trebbiano and Malvasia. Two types of Malvasia grow here: Malvasia di Candia and Malvasia del Lazio (also known as Malvasia Puntinata). They are often blended together to create Frascati Superiore DOCG, from the Castelli Romani area, just south-east of Rome. It has a great refreshing acidity and beautiful scents of candied fruit, Mediterranean herbs, blossom and apricot.

Other interesting white grapes are Bellone in the Castelli Romani area, Grechetto, north of Rome bordering Umbria, Passerina and Trebbiano Giallo. 

The most noteworthy indigenous red grape is Cesanese (Cesanese Comune and Cesanese d’Affile). It is rich, has meaty, almost wild characteristics but without a doubt deserves recognition alongside already renowned Nebbiolo, Aglianico or Amarone wines.

Another red grape called Nero Buono, originates from the town of Cori in the Castelli Romani area southeast of Rome. It is a distinctive wine with dark colour and a heady perfume.

Two exquisite dessert wines can be found: Frascati Cannellino, an extremely rare late harvest from grapes grown in the Castelli Romani area and Aleatico from near Gradoli Lake north Lazio, bordering Umbria.

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