Casale – Photo © leosagnotti
The vineyards in this area are cultivated “ a onocchia” with vines planted one near to the other and therefore these vineyards were named “vigna stretta alla Velletrana” (meaning narrow vineyard to the Velletri’s style). In fact this area was very rich in reeds, as the rainy weather and the numerous watercourses enabled their growth.
The soil was worked carefully, using the hoe to loosen the soil before digging drills near the plants to drain the water raining during the Spring; then these were removed “a cavalloni” to protect the plants from abundant rainfalls. During Summer the soil is worked to maintain it fresh; this type of works is defined “rinfrescature” (meaning refreshment) as they stop water from rising up again from the deepest layers, due to the capillarity.
The soil are still worked with the same attention as in the past, and the new technologies enabled the producers to expand their vineyards in places where the abundant rocks made them adapt only to pasture and herbaceous productions.
The wines produced in this area can be white and red. The new oenological procedures, such as the easy how they can be refrigerated, maintain the traditional characteristics both of whites and reds, and therefore it is no need to store wines in underground grottos, where they could be preserved till the autumn.
In this way therefore the white wine Velletri maintain its traditional vigour and its fragrance in all the types codified by the new rules, even in the spumante (sprinkling wine). The red wine indeed gives a wide range of variability according to the quantity of Cesanese utilized and to the aging period: from the sweet wine, where there is an higher percentage of Cesanese, good aperitif and with delicate dishes, to the dry, full bodied wine, where there is an higher percentage of Montepulciano, perfect for lunchtime with flavoured dishes, as this type gives to wine a strong taste, which increases if aged.
The production territory of the Velletri reaches the towns of Lariano and Cisterna. If you travel on the train line Rome-Naples, you will see a long series of vineyards – from the valley to the surroundings of Rome – as this line crosses all the other DOC territories.
The grapevines of the red Velletri are: San Giovese, a type with different characteristics from place to place, which is a prolific variety in this area and produces a wine excellent if aged; the Montepulciano which produces a vigorous wine, wonderful if aged; Cesanese comune, a very common grapevine in Lazio, which produces a wine full of vitality, which drink well, sweet and perfect as aperitif.
Among the additional vineyards there are: the Bombino nero, giving to wine a strong but pleasant characteristic, the Cerasuolo, giving to wine a cherry’s fragrance, and the Merlot, which was introduced among other kinds from the French Popes. The wine produced from this vineyard has a bouquet rich in aromas and a delicious taste.
The cultivation methods is “ a tendone” or with plants in rows, but differently from the other Castelli Romani’s areas, the first trailing branches of the vine are in a higher position, so that the abundant rainfalls cannot damage the grapes.
Courtesy of www.stradadeivinideicastelliromani.com