I Love Italian Travel – Wine Touring in Latium
So you have decided to go to Latium whose capital is none other than Rome, the capital of Italy. A great Italian author once wrote, “Roma, non basta una vita,” which translates as Rome, a single lifetime is not enough. This is not the place to herald Rome’s more than numerous attractions. Not to be a wet blanket, many Italians claim that most Romans will drink just about anything. This may explain in part the generally poor quality of Latium wines.
In their day the Roman emperors ruled the world. For a peek into their lives visit Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa) northeast of Rome. The gardens are breathtaking. Then drop in the Villa d’Este for an idea of how the Cardinals lived during the Sixteenth Century. You should visit Ostia Antica, Rome’s ancient seaport that was abandoned when the Tiber River changed its course. It has been extensively restored. The Etruscans once were powerful, especially north of Rome. Cerveteri about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Rome features a great necropolis whose tombs cover some 500 years. Then continue about the same distance to Tarquinia for more tombs and a museum that focuses on, you guessed it. Do you need a change of pace? Head east to Viterbo whose medieval district San Pellegrino is worth seeing. Then stop by Enoteca La Torre an expensive restaurant with one of Italy’s finest wine cellars. Or visit one of Italy’s oldest restaurants Tre Re that’s been in the city center since 1622.
There are a lot of so-called fine wines in Latium, more to the south of Rome than to its north. The major white varieties are Trebbiano and Malvasia. Red varieties include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and the local Cesane. Given the volcanic soils in the Alban Hills south of Rome, the area should be producing some mighty fine wines. Maybe some day it will be.
Companies selling wine tours of Latium include Select Italy, Dolce Rome Personal Shopper, Wine In Tour, and Incoming Rome. Latium wineries that accept visits include Casale del Giglio in Le Ferriere, Falesco in Montefiascone associated with Agriturismo Pomele, and Cantina Sant’andrea in Borgo Vodice. A few words of warning are in order. Make sure that you check ahead of time for opening hours and whether English is spoken. Some places may charge admission; others may expect you to buy some of their products.