Wines of the Lazio Region
The wine culture in Lazio dates back at least to the time of the Etruscans especially in the area of Viterbo, but on the characteristics and extent of the territory, a great impact certainly had the development of Rome as an imperial capital. Once the empire was over, the winemaking tradition was collected by monasticism and then cultivated by the popes of the Renaissance (as shown by the rich variety of wines examined by Sante Lancerio, bottler of Pope Paolo III Farnese, in the 1559 writing of the quality of the wines) . In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the cultivation of wine in the state of the Church declined, until the arrival of the Piedmontese. At the end of the nineteenth century, the best known wines of Lazio were Castelli Romani, Frascati, Marino, l'Est! East!! Est !!!, all obtained from native vines.
A peculiarity of the region, favored by climatic conditions, was the widespread family wine production, even in areas not suitable for self-consumption. The modernization has mainly concerned the development of the social cellars, which have equipped themselves with industrial-sized wine-making plants. Over time, however, the evolution of viticulture has been rather slow, with a very gradual transition from promiscuous crops to breeding systems such as the Tent, mainly aimed at increasing the production quantity.
Climate, Territory and Cultivation systems of the vine
The climate of Lazio is subject to the morphology of the territory: in the internal part of the region there is a continental climate characterized by strong temperature variations between day and night, and also for seasons; along the coast there is a Mediterranean climate, which makes winters mild and summers cool thanks to the winds from the sea, allowing the perfect ripening of the grapes in the vineyards of Tuscia and in the area between Nettuno and Terracina.
In the Wines of Castelli Romani production area and, more particularly, in the Alban Hills, climatic conditions are influenced by the proximity of the Tyrrhenian Sea, by a type of Crumbly Tuff Land, rich in Potassium and Phosphorus, and by the "Ponentino" a light sea breeze wind typical of the place which gives the wines of the Alban Hills, especially whites, a marked minerality. In the flat area, however, characterized by sandy and clayey soils rich in mineral properties, the cultivation of the Trebbiano Toscano, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sangiovese vines allows the production of excellent quality wines.
Along the coast of Cerveteri, the clayey-calcareous soils are characterized by the alluvial residues of the volcanic areas of the Toffa, allowing the production of aromatic and structured wines, while in the area of the Roman hills, the characteristics of the volcanic soils with arenaceous, clayey and marly sediments , give the wines an intense color and fragrance, freshness and a good structure.
With regard to the systems of vine cultivation, the most used in Lazio are the Tendone, the Guyot and the spurred cordon. In some areas of the Castelli Romani and of the Lower Lazio, the typical Vines married to trees or to woven reeds, called shrimps, are still used.