Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wines of the Lazio wine region

Since I have covered many Italian wine regions throughout my Italian wine blog journey I don't want to forget about some of the others we haven't discussed yet, even though some of them aren't that well known for producing high quality wines. Just like the United States has every state producing wine, so does Italy with wine regions. Today we're going to cover the Lazio wine region, also known as Latium. Without knowing it most of you will be familiar with it or have even been to it as it houses the capital of Italy, Rome.

The white wines of Lazio
A lot of the wine in the Lazio region is white and is made mostly from the trebbiano or malvasia grapes. There are 25 DOC wine regions within Lazio. One of the DOC regions you may have heard of or have tried yourself is Frascati, but not many of the wines from this region will pop into your mind firsthand when you think of Italian wines. Most of the wines in this region can be found around the Alban Hills, which are located south of Rome. According to Vino Italiano, 80% of all the wine in the DOC wine regions of Lazio are produced here. The elevations are higher and the volcanic soil is well drained.

One of the most interesting names for a DOC wine region resides in Lazio named Est! Est! Est! Di Montefiascone, or also just known as Est! Est! Est! It translates in latin to “it is”. The story is that a German bishop was en route to watch the coronation of Henry V and sent his scout ahead of him to mark the places that had the best wine with est!. Upon his arrival in Montefiascone he was overly impressed so he marked the door with Est! Est! Est! The story may be more entertaining than the wine is known for though.

The red wines of Lazio
Although this area produces mostly whites it does have an indigenous red to the area known as cesanese, but outside of that you will find your international varieties like merlot and cabernet sauvignon and some of the other red grapes produced within Italy. There originally was 1 region that was granted the DOCG designation, Cesanese di Piglio, from the Piglio region.  In 2011 two more regions joined in, Frascati Superiore and Cannellino di Frascati.
Montefiascone, Italy Lazio region
Montefiascone by Superdealer100

Foods of Lazio
Traditional foods of the Lazio region that you will want to sample when tasting wines from this region include spaghetti alla carbonara, cacio e pepe “cheese and pepper” and bucatini all' amatriciana. If you want something on the lighter side there is fresh pecorino romano or fried artichokes.

Bucatini all' amatriciana Roman dish
Bucatini all' amatriciana by Stu_spivack

What have folks found for wines from this region in your country? Has anyone visited the wineries of this region? Share your stories with me!

When you head to Rome and Lazio don't forget this useful detailed map.

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