LE ORIGINI DELLA VITIVINICOLTURA NEI CASTELLI ROMANIThe Castelli Romani are set out in the leading positions of Italy’s oldest wine-growing tradition, if not the top step of the podium. His most famous wine, Frascati, was appreciated since Roman times and several popes have been lovers in the seventeenth century. Since 1966, the Frascati DOC is the most representative of the seven denominations of the Castelli Romani (the others are the Colli Albani, Colli Lanuvini Marino, Montecompatri, Velletri and Zagarolo) united by the Wine Road of the Castelli Romani.
We are at the gates of Rome, a land of volcanic origin steeped in history and also known for the famous “outings” in the wake of the wines but also the excellent local cuisine. The center of gravity of the Castelli Romani is therefore the same Frascati, a town founded as a result of the destruction of the ancient Tusculum in 1191: it was razed and the inhabitants took refuge in huts made of branches, hence the name of the city. Frascati is famous for its villas, built between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for political and social reasons the Roman aristocracy and the papal court. The most famous is precisely Villa Aldobrandini, which now dominates the large Piazza Roma.
Of the many important artists who described, adorned or loved Frascati (including Vanvitelli, Goethe, Byron, Belli), found inspiration in the many wine shops, taverns (called fraschette), which were not only popular meeting point, but whether site-specific. And until the 70s of the twentieth century, these were the favorite destination of “outings” of the Romans to taste the wine. But, just in terms of wine, the most important producers of Frascati are located in the surrounding areas of the Castelli Romani.
In the nearby Monte Porzio Catone, for example, hosts an emblematic wine cellar Frascati Fontana Candida, that alone means more than 40% of the Denomination. And it is one of the rare cases in which the amount is synonymous with quality: the Frascati Superiore Terre boasts of Griffins irresistible taste and freshness, the cru Santa Teresa Frascati is an unexpected and longevity of the new Moon Mater, the result of a rigorous selection process, is a white high level. But we’ll talk more in the box. Anyway, Fontana Candida is one of the few producers who, after the inevitable “dilution” of quality from the Frascati had undergone as a result of the enormous spike in popularity of the ’80s and ’90s, has been able to bring this wine to its former glory.
From Monte Porzio Catone, just make a few kilometers to the column to find another manufacturer of tradition, Prince Pallavicini. The ancient family has been producing wine in the area since 1700 but is now more than ever, quality-oriented and the 80 hectares of vineyards, 50 are enrolled in the well of Frascati. The winery is the point behind the reception Casilina, but the historical part of the company is on the opposite side, in the area Marmorelle, with the vineyards and the historic farmhouse under which winding two levels of underground caves, which are still used to refine wines in barrels and in the bottle. Poggio Verde is the label of the tip of Frascati, while the 1670 (which marks the year of commencement of wine) is a white IGT charm.
A few miles from Frascati, this time to the south side of the Castelli Romani, we find the eleganteGrottaferrata, residential town dominated by the Abbey of San Nilo (built in 1006) and small catacombs (For Decimum on the way Anagnina), discovered accidentally in 1905 and dating from the third century dCAttraversando Grottaferrata and past the famous crossroads of Squarciarelli the way Frascati leads us towards the way of the Lakes, where near, right between Marino and Grottaferrata, there is Castel de Paolis. It is one of the producers of higher value of Lazio all, with a Frascati really noteworthy but also red thick, including the Four Moors, a red that combines award-winning blend of four varieties (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot) . In some vintages, the winery still produces a sweet white wine delicious but, unfortunately, virtually disappeared, the Frascati Cannellino. Castel de Paolis was born in 1983 at the hands of Hon. Giulio Santarelli and at the end of experiments conducted by prof. Attilio Scienza. Very nice room where visitors are welcomed, flanked by two large event space with panoramic terrace.
Climbing the Via dei Laghi, you can visit Castel Gandolfo, with the eponymous swimming lake of volcanic origin and the summer residence of the Pope, but to stay themed wine must go down to the Appian Way to go places Frattocchie. On the small street Picchioni Hill, the seat of the eponymous winery, not easy to track down, “first we have to find …” jokes the owner Armando Di Mauro, the son of Paola, who gave life and luster to this small winery. Indeed, in the dark days for the wines of Lazio, Vassallo has proved to the world once and for all the potential of the terroir of the Castelli Romani, also thanks to the skilful hand of Richard Cotarella. Colle Picchioni also produces three whites, two DOC and IGT Lazio Marino.
The last stage in the Castelli Romani wine can be a country less known for DOC (Lanuvini Hills) but much more valid for a producer: we speak of Genzano and the Knights of the winery, producing wines for five generations. The modern tasting room overlooks the oldest vineyard, from which are born whites, the obvious Lanuvini Hills and Teresa selection. But there is also a big red, IGT Rùtilo, aged in barrels. About Genzano, dell’Infiorata the town, on the main road the butchery done Azzocchiha Porchetta art since 1830 thanks to a particular spice. Not to be outdone the other meats of own production (by couples excellent fillet of Wolverine) as well as cheeses and other delicacies. The real home of porchetta, though, is the adjacent Ariccia, where this roast pig not only gained the IGP, but it would be even born. Since 1950, then, on the first Sunday of September we held the Festival of Porchetta.
About gastronomy, the kitchen of the Castelli Romani affected much of Roman influences, but there are typical as the aforementioned pork, bruschetta in many forms, but strictly with homemade bread of Genzano, the egg noodles, polenta with ribs, chestnuts, isalumi (especially coral and couples), the cheeses of pastoralism as the exquisite – and rare-provatura. The famous restaurant in Frascati Cacciani, for example, there stuffing of delicious croutons provatura.
But if this goal frascatana occupiano us in the pages to follow, it is worth noting another local level: the charming Locanda dello Spuntino Grottaferrata. The name is a guarantee from the 80s but, above all, the Fortini family carries on a tradition started in 1960 by his grandfather as a “bitch”, is now a restaurant. The place is nothing short of impressive, tasty dishes and rightly so “generous”.
For those who attended the Castelli Romani, Cacciani is a name so well known as to verge on the myth. Or rather, to represent the essential culinary destination for those who go to Frascati. The restaurant was founded in 1922 with the “grandfather” Leopold, Thomas convinced by his father to start a catering business saw the largest tourism town of ancient Latium (some dishes created by Leopold at the time – the toast to provatura, chicken devilled, fried vegetables – are still present in the paper). In the ’50s, Cacciani is not only a landmark of Roman cuisine, but also the destination of the jet set. So he remained for over twenty years an upscale restaurant more than just an alternative to the gourmet restaurants and “fraschette” that lived in Frascati. But by the late 80s the restoration of the Castelli Romani has grown both in quantity and in quality, as well Cacciani found himself in the position of not being “the one”, but it is at this moment that comes into play the third generation of family, Leopold, Catherine and Paul. And it is the latter, but also skilled chef sommelier, to propose the typical recipe.