Most of the Castelli Romani stand on the external ring of the volcanic crater of the Colli Tuscolani, stretching over the Colli Albani till Monte Artemisio (925 above sea-level) to reach the Maschio Lariano (821 m above the sea-level) and then extending northward on the Monte Salomone (773 m above the sea-level) to meet again the Colli Tuscolani. The little internal ring is characterized by Monte Cavo (949 m above the sea-level) and by Monte Faete (956 m above the sea-level).
Coming from Rome visitors can observe Monte Cavo dominating the area with its typical flat peak.
It seems to be the central volcano, but it was created by detritus coming from the eruptions of the principal craters: i.e. the Lakes of Albano and Nemi and those of Ariccia and Pavona, that have been drained.
All the grounds nearby have a volcanic origin, even if different in lava consistency. The same origin characterizes the few alluvial soils of this zone; thus they are very rich in potassium, an important element to process sugars, and without calcium. Definitely the good drainage of these soils is due to their layers. A main condition however has to be accomplished, i.e. loose volcanic rocks on the surface level or just a meter underground have to be brought to the direct exposure of atmospheric agents, so that within two years their deterioration will form a fertile ground.
Average annual rainfalls range from 750 and 1,000 mms. on the coastal zone, and reach 1,250 mms. on the hills, where viticulture is of main interest. On the mountains the average amount of rain falling during a year is of 1,500 mms. but these are forested. Spring and autumn are the most rainy seasons, and therefore even during summer grounds are prepared to receive rain in the depth.
In the soils not very rich in humus is put manure through the “sovescio” procedure, i.e. by planting during Spring leguminous plants such as the “favino”, that can fix the atmospheric nitrogen in their roots, and can produce an abundant vegetation, which by decomposing fertilize the soil, increasing the capacity to absorb humidity.
The DOC Wine “Castelli Romani” has been the last one to be recognized. It has been added to the other DOC wines to help many producers which have vineyard characterized by only one type of vine, generally: spotted Malvasia, also named Malvasia del Lazio or Greco. This aimed also to satisfy consumers different exigencies and to control red wines production in those areas where only the white one was already controlled. With the DOC “Castelli Romani” are controlled not only red wines but also new wines and rose’.
Production territory: there are areas near to the Castelli Romani ones, similar in environmental conditions, to expand the cultivation of those producers already involved in the cultivation in the areas controlled by the DOC. The producers in these surrounding areas have the same oenological and agronomical culture of those of the Castelli Romani; these areas thanks to their environmental and climatic characteristics have been added to the DOC “Castelli Romani”.
Therefore, the territory characterized by the general denomination “Castelli Romani”, consists also of the towns of Rocca di Papa, and Rocca Priora, and Ciampino and Lariano which recently have been divided from Marino and Velletri; Zagarolo and San Cesareo which already formed the Zagarolo DOC; and Cori, Cisterna and Aprilia, recently included thanks to their geographical and human conditions. Cori and Aprilia are already characterized by a specific DOC.
Courtesy of www.stradadeivinideicastelliromani.com