Friday, April 2, 2021

Frascati: The White Wine of Lazio

Whether you may have heard the name Lazio or not, if you’ve been to Italy most likely you visited Rome, which is actually in the central region of Italy called Lazio.  Not a region I’ve written about too much on here and mostly because I don’t see wines from Lazio all too often.  Katarina, our host from Grapevine Adventures chose to feature the region of Lazio for Italian Food, Wine and Travel (#ItalianFWT) this month.  With such limited time lately I actually stopped at a couple stores and couldn’t find a bottle.  Regardless, when learning about Italian wine it’s best to learn about all the wine regions, especially some of the best known from those regions and those that are the least discovered gems.  I decided to share with you today one of Lazio’s featured wines known as Frascati.  This will probably be one of the wines you’d most likely come across if you were to seek out wines in the market from this region. 

Lazio is a region dominated by white wines by about 70% over reds that are primarily based on the Malvasia and Trebbiano white grapes.  In Lazio you’ll find a couple different types of Malvasia including Malvasia Bianca di Candia and Malvasia del Lazio.  In the Lazio wine region they have the most planted Malvasia Bianca di Candia in all of Italy.  The same goes for Trebbiano where you will discover Trebbiano Giallo and Trebbiano Toscano. 

Malvasia di Lazio in Frascati
Malvasia di Lazio - Copyright of Consorzio Vini Frascati

You’ll find the appellation of Frascati up in the southeastern hills outside of Rome in an area known as Castelli Romani.  The Frascati appellations take their name from the actual town of Frascati located there.  When we’ve spoken about volcanic wines in the past throughout Italy Lazio may not come first to mind, but the soils located in and around Frascati consist of volcanic matter. 

Lazio hosts a very large number of DOCs with limited DOCGs and Frascati occupies 2 of the 3 DOCGs of Lazio: Frascati Superiore DOCG and Cannellino di Frascati DOCG.  What makes up the difference between the Frascati DOC, Frascati Superior DOCG and Cannnellino di Frascati DOCG?  Since the wines are all produced within this area there are some differences in what classifies the wines produced in this area into each appellation. 

Both the Frascati DOC and Frascati Superiore DOCG are made from the same requirements of grape composition at 70%+ Malvasia Bianca di Candia and/or Malvasia del Lazio and up to 30% blending grapes.  The Superiore though has lower yields, higher alcohol levels and can produce a Riserva style with a year plus of aging.  Typically, Frascati is a light-bodied, dry wine showing apple, florals and citrus.  As with many Italian wines the Superiore will tend to produce wines with more complexity and depth over the regular Frascati DOC. 

Cannellino di Frascati DOCG on the other hand is more of dessert style wine produced from the same variety and percentages of grapes, but the grapes are produced in a sweeter style opposed to the dry versions we previously discussed.  It’s mandatory that the grapes be harvested late, but it’s optional whether the grapes reach the favorable disease known as botrytis, also known as noble rot, or whether or not they go through an appassimento process where the grapes are partially dried.

Cannellino di Frascati DOCG
Cannellino di Frascati DOCG - Copyright of Consorzio Vini Frascati

What’s your experience with wines from this region?

Join my fellow Italian wine and food lovers as they share some other great selections of Lazio’s wine region.  Catch us live on Twitter this Saturday at 11am @ #ItalianFWT.  Ci vediamo!

  • Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Lazio in California: The Quintessential Roman Pasta + 2017 Big Sur Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve
  • Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm: Alberico Appia Antica 400 Rosso 2016 paired with Stracci di antrodoco
  • Terri at Our Good Life: Pietro Est! Est!! Est!!! with Crab Dip Crostinis Our Good Life
  • Susannah at Avvinare: Cesanese del Piglio, Classic Wines From Lazio
  • Gwendolyn at Wine Predator: "If You See Kay" -- Lazio in Paso Robles? #ItalianFWT
  • Marcia at Joy of Wine: Bellone - one of Lazio's Great White Grapes
  • Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles: Lazio – Exploring low intervention wines inspired by tradition and nature #Italian FWT
  • Katarina at Grapevine Adventures: How Wine in Lazio is Reimagining its Past Greatness



  1. Until this post I was completely unaware of this region. Now I want to try all the grapes! I loved your grape photo.

  2. I loved your post. I was unaware of this area until we studied it. Now I want to go and see it in person.