The Lazio region is perhaps best known for its capital of Rome and the adjacent autonomous country known as Vatican City. Contrary to popular belief, Rome is a city that requires low-cost wine to satisfy its huge influx of tourism. Traditionally, quantity reigns over quality here. Twenty of the region's 25 DOC's are whites composed mostly of Trebbiano and Malvasia, and represented by Frascati. However, the production of a new breed of whites includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Viogner. Cesanese, known for its plump fruity flavor as the only native red varietal, is taking a back seat to other Latin and international offerings. Italian varietals include Sangiovese (Tuscany), Montepulciano (Abruzzo), and Aglianico (Campania and Basilicata); international varietals include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petit Verdot. Interestingly enough, the Cabernet and Merlot blends from Lazio's Bolsano Lake rival the big Cabernets from Bolgheri in Tuscany, and the border area between Tuscany and Lazio is very similar to Tuscany's fertile Maremma area.
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asale del Giglio, founded in 1967 by Dr. Berardino Satarelli, lies between the towns of Aprilia and Latina in the Agro Pontino valley, some 30 miles south of Rome. Unlike other parts of the Latium region, or other regions of Italy, this territory was still uncharted in viticulture terms when Berardino Santarelli and his son Antonio launched their research project in 1985.
Since the project aimed at identifying and maximizing the territory’s potential for quality viticulture, useful comparisons were made with processes adopted in Bordeaux, California and Australia, wine producing areas of the world influenced, like the Agro Pontino valley, by a maritime climate.
Casale del Giglio subscribes to the philosophy that “the future of Italian viticulture relies not only on consolidating the image of its rational wine producing zones but on its ability to produce top quality wines at favorable prices in area whose potential is still relatively unexplored.”
As a result Casale del Giglio’s research, the European Community authorized the cultivation of ‘new recommended varieties’ such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the province of Latina (from 1990) while other varieties were authorized later.
To date, Casale del Giglio has converted about 125 of its 150 hectares to the cordon trained or row system, selecting those grape varieties which have proved to interact best with the territory and produce the best quality wines.
CASALE DEL GIGLIO
Antinoo (Chardonnay Viogner)
Satrico (Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Trebbiano Giallo)
Mater Matuta (Syrah & Petit Verdot)