If you are flying over Rome and landing in Ciampino Airport, then you must have seen patches of large combed vineyards around it. Riserva della Cascina is just about a kilometer from the Ciampino Airport. The winery is located inside the Appian Way Regional Park, along Regina Viarium, an ancient tree-lined cobblestone Roman road that goes back more than 2,000 years ago. The scenery, as you can imagine, is a stunning mixture of trees, vineyards, and ancient Roman ruins. Having such proximity to the center of Rome, it can easily be visited from the center of the city and it has to be one of the best ways to spend a few hours away from the urban bustle.
On a sunny day, I had stroll along the 40-year old vineyards with fourth-generation Silvia Brannetti as she indicated the vineyards that her family is cultivating in their 24-hectare estate framed by the Alban Hills and even an ancient Roman tomb inside the property. Things have changed from the previous generations’ methods of viticulture and wine making.
Diverting from her predecessors’ methods, Silvia’s philosophy in wine making stems from choosing quality over quantity, maintaining an organic viticulture and cultivating autochthonous vines which grow so well in the volcanic soil of the area.
Organic methods of cultivation and wine making have been in practice in the winery since 1994 when they received the official certification. No chemical pesticides and herbicides are used in the cultivation of the vines. One example is using plants of fava beans in the corridors of the vineyards which improve the quality of the soil most especially by adding nitrogen. Whereas in the vinification, they add 40% less sulfites than the EU regulation for organic wines plus no clarifying or fining agents of animal origin are utilized making their wines vegetarian and vegan friendly.
The white varieties are all indigenous to Lazio which are Grechetto, Malvasia Puntinata, Trebbiano Toscano, and Bombino Bianco.
As for the red varieties, Silvia prefers to cultivate the international varieties like Syrah, Merlot and Italian varieties Sangiovese and Montepulciano. With the composition of volcanic rocks that are particularly prolific in basalt, the subsequent richness in minerals make the soil particularly suitable for viticulture. The exposure of the vines to the sun plus the sea breezes make the growth of the vines favorable in producing high quality organic wines that are rich in minerals and pleasant freshness to the palate.
Riserva della Cascina produces 6 kinds of red and white wines. The IX Miglio Bianco, a blend of Malvasia Puntinata, Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Rossa. It is probably the one that represents most the territory wherein the delicate white flowers, white and tropical fruits create a lovely bouquet. This one has a very interesting history as it used to be the kind of wine that the ancient Romans used to drink and it was called Albanum since it was produced in the Alban Hills.
Another white wine is the Gallieno obtained from 100% Malvasia Puntinata. The 2016 has a pleasantly aromatic nose of ripe yellow fruits, flowers and herbaceous hints without being too overpowering that corresponds to the palate. The 2017, still in the initial phase of vinification was already showing the the pleasant characteristics of the grape variety. With a short period of wood aging, the wine expresses a slight balsamic nuance.
La Via delle Rose is obtained from Montepulciano grapes. The lovely soft rose color is obtained off skin with mature red grapes. It has a lovely bouquet of berries, rose and delicate flowers while in the mouth it is fresh with good minerality. The two red wines are the IX Miglio Rosso, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese and the Costa di Basalto obtained from 100% Syrah.
Riserva della Cascina
Winery: Via Appia Antica, 560
00134 Rome (RM), Italy
Shop: Via Fratelli Wright, 12
00043 Ciampino (RM), Italy
Tel: +39 06 7917221