Rome is the center of Christianity and the Eternal City rich in unique monuments and works of art.
But this city also has another treasure, one which is less known but which is ready to reveal itself and be appreciated.
Rome, in fact, is the only European capital to have, within its metropolitan area, a wine of controlled and guaranteed designation of origin (DOCG): Frascati Superiore.
The suburb of Frascati is a place of unparalleled beauty for both for the landscape and the splendid 18th century villas there, true architectural masterpieces which often were at the headquarters of old farms estates.
The area has always had a vocation for producing wine thanks to its extraordinary geographic location, mild climate and the fertility of the volcanic soil.
There have been vineyards there since the Roman era and later were even cultivated inside monasteries and convents. From the Renaissance and throughout the 19th century, the area was administered by the Church and this contributed to boosting the fame of its blond nectar which spread in and around the capital. The Church also regulated and taxed its consumption and used the revenue to finance some of the best-known monuments in Rome, including the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona.
Frascati Superiore is named after the most important town in the area of production, which includes the Roman suburbs of Grottaferrata, Monte Porzio Catone and Monte Compatri. It is a wine with an ancient tradition and was one of the best-known and consumed in the world through the middle of the 20th century. Thanks to its quality and efforts of then-minster for agriculture Pietro Campilli, on March 3, 1991 it was given an official Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) classification, which is the Italian equivalent of the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
Twenty years later, on September 20, 2011, it was Marco Masini, the grandson of Pietro Campilli and also an MP, who saw his own efforts and those of the Consorzio dei Vini Tipici (Distinctive Wines Association) crowned with the classification being upgraded to Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) thus allowing the Frascati wine to be called ‘Superiore’.
In order to restore this wine to its ancient glory, Mario Masini, through Azienda Agricola Valle Vermiglia, named the wine after the most suggestive area of Monte Tuscolo, the hermitage.