Wine tasting experience in an Italian vineyard Frascati

Wine experiences a few miles away from Rome

Looking for a wine tasting near the Eternal City?

Tasting great white and red wines during a wine experience near Rome is possible. These types of experiences can be surprising and completely unexpected. Forget about traveling for more than three or four hours to reach another Italian region: at a very short distance, you will discover the area of the so called “Castelli Romani” or Roman Castles, a lovely hilly region just half an hour away from Rome, known for its beautiful landscape, its famous wines, olive oil and genuine food.

During my Castelli Romani – wine and food experience, most of the times my guests, who are wine lovers or simply people looking for an authentic and local experience, say: “Do we really need to come back to the city? This place is a paradise!” 

Lake Albano of Castel Gandolfo
The Lake Albano of Castel Gandolfo - Castelli Romani

Here, over 630.000 years ago, an intense volcanic activity started and gave the area the shape that is clearly visible from the roads that lead to the south, towards the countryside.  The complex of the Vulcano Laziale (Latium Volcano), with its main crater – with a height of 947 meters above sea level – extends for a diameter of 60 kilometers. If you have the chance to visit the ancient Appian Way, in between the second and the third mile, you will see the basaltic formation that cooled down at the end of the last eruptive phase of the volcano.

The soil is therefore perfect for wine making: a mixture of different types of lava, tufa and pozzolana, minerals including iron, mica and leucite.

“The terroir of the Castelli Romani gives to white wines a unique savoury and sapid note; red wines become complex and full bodied after refining in bottles or oak.”

Local autochthonous grapes are widely cultivated in the vineyards around Frascati, Grottaferrata, Monteporzio Catone, just to mention  a few towns of the area. Here you find a short list of the main white grape varietes:

Malvasia del Lazio, or puntinata (because of the little dots visible on the skin of the grape). It has a low  yield, it gives the wine a medium body, with a light straw yellow colour, a floral bouquet, a pretty high alcohol content and a low acidity;

Malvasia di Candia. Late flowering and fruit set, adapts well to different types of soils. Wines have a beautiful intense straw yellow colour, fresh, fruity and floral notes, with a subtle green almond finish;

Trebbiano toscano. Often blended with other varietes, as it gives the wine a great freshness and acidity; 

Trebbiano giallo. Often used in the local blends, subtly aromatic, with a good acidity; 

Bombino bianco. Probably from Spain, widely used in the south of Italy, like Pugalia. Quite acid, with nice tropical fruity notes and ripe fruits;

Bellone. Cultivated in the Castelli Romani, but also around the cities of Anzio and Nettuno (they overlook the Tyrrhenian Sea). It has a thin skin, a straw yellow colour, a bitter finish, sapid. It has many curious names: probably the most interesting is “uva pane (bread grape)”, because it was probably eaten by the  farmers together with bread.


The Frascati DOC label was one of the first denominations of Italy


In 1966 Frascati wines were awarded with the first DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata – label, one of the first four DOCs of Italy. In 2011 the new Frascati Superiore DOCG  – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita – was introduced. There is a Riserva, too: they have to be made of Malvasia di Candia and/or Malvasia del Lazio, for a minimum of 70%; Bellone, Bombino bianco, Greco bianco, Trebbiano toscano, Trebbiano giallo alone or together up to a maximum of 30%.

wine tasting near Rome
Malvasia del Lazio grape harvesting near Frascati - early October
Vineyard wine glass experience Italy Rome
Wine tasting in a vineyard near Grottaferrata

What can you expect during a wine experience near Rome?

Each experience in a vineyard is generally led by the wine producers, who are so passionate about the stories of their family, the different harvests and wine making. Some of them even open their wineries to a few guests, to make the experience more personal and enriching.

Wines are always paired with delicious local cheese, crunchy bread, salami, prosciutto and cold cuts, with the aim of promoting “km zero” small family-run producers. Quality, nature, relax, good wines, local grape varieties: this is the perfect recipe for happiness and fun.

Read my next blog posts to know more about my favourite wineries. 

A presto and, meantime, cheers! Salute!


Wine and food pairing
Wine Tasting at Merumalia - Frascati
CategoriesSenza categoria

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *