Long appreciated by the Roman elite, Frascati wine replaced French wine at court in 1534, following a comment by Pope Paul III, during his papacy that: "French wine gets you too drunk!"
The area in which the vineyards are situated was cited by Cicero as "the area which makes the wine Rome drinks".
SAMPLE ITINERARY: The Castelli Romani, or Roman Castles, are a great destination for a day of wine tasting and exploring right on Rome's doorstep. The scenery and altitude give clues as to why this area was so popular as a summer haunt for the Roman elite and subsequent nobility through the centuries. During this tour you will be visiting or driving through many of these attractive places.
The entire area is picturesque, dotted with incredibly pretty small towns including the delightful Nemi - depicted in several paintings by great artists on the Grand Tour - where you will enjoy stunning lake views, taste the famous delectable wild strawberry tarts and strawberry liqueur made from the tiny wild strawberries than only grow around the lake. On a private guided stroll you will learn about the cult of the goddess Diana, the singular tastes of infamous emperor Caligula, and how Mussolini managed to extract two enormous pleasure barges from the bottom of the lake. We also include an impromptu tasting of the area's local wines in one of the charmingly characteristic emporia in the old town.
Our lunch destination is one of the vineyards itself. This is always a deliciously fun affair. Local cuisine lovingly prepared - hot dishes in winter, cold ones in summer (varying according to the seasons) - accompanied by the wines throughout the meal. This is a very relaxed lunch where you are able to revisit any of the wines presented as many times as you like. We normally begin with a full tour of the vineyard followed by tasting directly from the aging room before moving into the dining area. These wines are organic but have a sophistication about them (with DOC & DOCG labels). The estate is charming, set in a lush landscape of Cypress trees and Mediterranean shrubs not far from the ancient site of Tusculum - famous for the battle of Lago Regillo. As this is the last place of the day we depart back to Rome whenever you're ready.
If you prefer fine dining, a table will be waiting for you in an elegant restaurant with lake views, serving varied typical local cuisine. To reach this we will drive a short distance through ancient volcanic hills. In the summer we reserve your table on the balcony overlooking the lake and in colder weather you can choose from one of the very comfortable salons. Either before or after lunch you will have a short guided walk of Castel Gandolfo (traditional summer residence of the Pope), which is walking distance from the restaurant.
Key grape varieties on this tour
White: Malvasia del Lazio, Trebbiano Toscano
Red: Cabernet Franc
CASTELLI ROMANI AREA
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