Zagarolo – Photo © Tommaso Tessarolo
Located among the Colli Albani and the Monti Prenestini, on a low hill (100-400 meters above the sea level), the production’s zone of the Zagarolo is, according to the rules, the perfect place for wine-making. The more distant Monti Tiburtini together with the more near Monti Prenestini protect this area from winds coming from north and north-east, but let the ‘ponentino’ in, a wind mitigating the hot roman summer. This zone is protected southward from the Colli Albani. Its particular position therefore is favorable to the cultivation of vineyards. The history of viticulture is rooted in the foundation of Zagarolo and Gallicano, back in the Middle Ages, even if the vineyards’ cultivation flourished again only at the beginning of the past century after they had been strongly hit by phylloxera.
The wine even if generally is sweet, but its commonest variety is dry, very harmonic, crisp, that drinks well, particularly its more accurate productions. This to satisfy the consumers needs, that drink this wine in roman trattorias and public houses, where it is brought in casks.
The production territory consists of Gallicano, part of Zagarolo, and of San Cesareo. It has to be noted that in the general DOC of the Castelli Romani, the Gallicano territory has been excluded and only that of Zagaralo belongs to it.
The vineyards are characterized by the varieties: Malvasia di Candia, whose prolific production is refined with Trebbiano Toscano, Yellow Trebbiano, and Green Trebbiano to make it easily storable; and it is aromatized by the Malvasia puntinata. The Bellone and the Bonvino can be also used.
The cultivation methods are characterized by the Tendone, as it has already been used largely to produce grapes to be eaten. More rarely there are cultivation in rows, both cordon or gouyot.
The sale of this wine is still linked to the tradition, when hosts went directly on the production territory and with the help of a broker, bought the wine, sometimes paying it in advance. To guarantee this operation it was sufficient an handshake and countermarking with a chalk – to write the buyer initials – the chosen casks.
Even if nowadays the new technologies determined a standardization of wine production, it is the producer, who brings the wine in casks directly to the trattorias and public houses of Rome. Sometimes, consumers reach this area to buy wine, and to make a pleasant trip.
Courtesy of www.stradadeivinideicastelliromani.com