Viticolture in Lazio
Lazio offers a bevy of wines from a wide variety of native and international grapes. It is very difficult to identify one grape representing the whole region, as each area houses different varieties.
Which are the key Grape Varieties of Lazio?
- Malvasia Puntinata: also known as Malvasia del Lazio, this is the most important white grape in the region from a qualitative standpoint. Like most Malvasia grapes, it delivers terpene-derived aromas of orange blossom and apricot but does so in a gentle way, coupling them with good acidity and tangy salinity. It also possesses good aging potential: versions of Frascati containing a good proportion of it evolve gracefully over time.
- Malvasia di Candia: more widespread than Malvasia Puntinata and also higher-yielding, this grape gives fairly light and simple white wines, performing best when blended with other grapes.
- Bellone: an indigenous grape of the Agro Pontino and Cori region, giving full-bodied whites with a creamy texture and good acidity to balance.
- Cesanese d’ Affile: The key red grape in the Ciociaria region, Cesanese d’ Affile is a fairly eclectic and terroir-transparent grape, usually displaying a light color, high acidity, and enticing aromas of freshly picked red fruits mingling with violets, herbs, and pepper. The wines, however, vary from medium-bodied and perfumed in cooler areas like Olevano Romano to richer and more powerful in the Piglio area. To some extent, Cesanese behaves similarly to Grenache.
- Cesanese Comune: A different grape from Cesanese d’Affile, Cesanese Comune is widely grown on the outskirts of Rome and gives easy-going reds, making for immediately-appealing entry-level wines.
- Nero Buono: almost exclusively grown in the Cori area, this little-known variety gives dark and compact red wines with hearty aromas of red fruit, spice, and leather, anticipating a hearty palate with substantial tannins supporting the luscious fruit.
- Aleatico: In the Tuscia area, the red Aleatico grape thrives between the foothills of the Volsini mountains and the Bolsena Lake, giving perfumed and light dry red wines, easy-drinking rosè, and sweet-and-savory Passito.
- Moscato di Terracina: this biotype of Moscato Giallo gives excellent dry wines in the agro Pontino area – light, perfumed, and delicately savory.
Other key grapes:
- Montepulciano (Violone)
- Sangiovese (Grechetto Rosso)
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
- Petit Verdot