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Latium Native Vines – Second Part
Rosa D'Ancona – May 20, 2006



Native White Vines

  Bellone
  Bellone
  Malvasia del Lazio
  Malvasia del Lazio
  Malvasia Bianca di Candia
  Malvasia Bianca di Candia
  Cesanese
  Cesanese
   

Bellone (Big and Beautiful)
The Bellone grape is widespread in the countryside surrounding Rome. Dubbed by Plinius as uva fantastica (fantastic grape), in some areas is known as uva panepoiché, because the peasant used to eat its big, juicy grapes with bread (pane = bread).

This is a vigorous, strong vine which has great resistance to atmospheric adversity and illnesses, which in addition produces abundant fruits, though not consistently year after year. When crushed, it produces fairly abundant juice. It is considered a very interesting grape for native quality vitiviniculture because of its distinctive characteristics. The elevated productivity makes it an ideal vine for cultivation in fresh, fertile soil, especially when extensive foliage trimming is done, to better exploit the typical characteristics.

Malvasia del Lazio (Latium Malvasia)
The Malvasia del Lazio, or Malvasia Puntinata, is a truly ancient vine. Widespread in the Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) area, in the past the cultivation was progressively abandoned, because of its low production, though the typical characteristics of the variety are fairly outstanding. This vine produces wines with an intense golden yellow color, and when used in blends, give a pleasant round flavor to wines, softening, or eliminating all together, possible tartness typical of other grapes.

Malvasia Bianca di Candia (White malvasia from Candia)
Originally from Greece like all other varieties of Malvasia, this specific clone is found throughout south-central Italy. It produces a straw yellow wine, lightly perfumed, sapid and slightly bitter. It's often used in blends, as the varietal wines are harmonious and characteristic only when produced un the classic growing zones.

Moscato di Terracina (Muscat from Terracina)
This Moscato variety was called Uva Apiana (the Bee Grape) by the Romans, because the strong perfume and high sugar content of the bunches attract bees much more than other grape varieties. As the name suggests, this grape variety is cultivated around Terracina, where it has been grown since the 17th century. The cultivation of this vine expanded as its characteristically good qualities were discovered.

The wine is golden yellow with persistent, aromatic perfume. Sweet and velvety to the palate, it has good structure and medium-long finish.

Trebbiano Giallo (Yellow Trebbiano)
This ancient Roman vine, mentioned by Plinius in its 'Naturalis Historia' ('Natural History') and known also by different local names, such as Greco (Greek, in the towns of Velletri, Cori and Zagarolo), Trebbiano dei Castelli (Trebbiano from the Castles, in the area around Nettuno), as well as Greco Giallo (Yellow Greek) and Rossetto (Little Red) in other areas. It is cultivated mostly in the Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) area. This wine varietal is slightly bitter-sweet.

Native Red Vines

Cesanese
The word Cesanese means 'from Cesano', which is a town near Rome. Among the native red vines the Cesanese is the one that is identified most with the Latium region. Among the different clones, the one from Piglio is the best known and, rightly so, is considered the best.

The Cesanese wine has ancient traditions, as proved by the many archeological findings in the area. In Roman times, Emperor Nerva liked the wine from the town of Piglio so much that he had an imperial residence, whose ruins are still visible, built in the area. In the Middle Ages, historic documents hint that it was the favorite wine of Frederick the Second, who would drink it during his hunting parties. Other documents report that it was the favorite wine of two Popes from Anagni, another town near Rome, Innocenzo the Third and Bonifacius the Seventh.

The vine production is abundant and averagely consistent. It ripens with difficulty at high elevation and in areas with poor exposure. The wine has a characteristic flavor, pleasant and discretely tannic. It is included in many latium DOC denomination. 

Cesanese d'Affile (Cesanese from Affile)
Clone from the Affile wine zone, it is the base for three DOC wines: Cesanese del Piglio, Cesanese di Affile and Cesanese di Olevano Romano (Cesanese from Piglio, Affile and Olevano Romano, respectively).

Nero Buono di Cori (Good Black from Cori)
Red native vine from Cori, recovered and re-proposed thanks to research and experiments which showed its high quality characteristics. It produces an intense ruby red wine, with characteristic perfume and alcoholic flavor.

Outstanding Producers of DOC Wines

Label: Cesanese del Piglio Etichetta Rossa

Label: Vigna Adriana

Label: Bianco dei Dioscuri

Label: Colle Picchioni Rosso

Label: Orvieto Noè

Label: Poggio dei Gelsi

Label: Atina Cabernet

Label: Tarquinia Bianco

Label: Frascati Villa Simone



 
 
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