The Eternal City is a wonderful destination for sightseeing and visiting the monuments of ancient Rome, and there are plenty of museums to keep you busy for days or even weeks. But did you know that the ancient Romans also loved wine and relaxing in the countryside? They created a luxurious retreat area right outside of the city and built impressive summer villas and endless vineyards to produce wine for their feasts and banquets.
Today, that same retreat area is comprised of the towns of Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) and is dotted with tiny villages, rolling vineyards, and impressive summer villas. One town in particular, Frascati, still carries on the tradition of wine making, producing among other wines their namesake white wine.
Frascati is located just a thirty-minute drive from the city center of Rome, making it the perfect wine destination for a day trip for people staying in the city. A full-day wine tour is a great way to relax and enjoy the region, but even a half-day experience is possible if you are in Rome for a shorter visit.
Our two most popular day trips are the Castelli Romani & Frascati Wine Tasting and our Frascati Full Day Wine Tour. Both tours include a luxury vehicle, English-speaking driver, and pick-up directly at your hotel so you can fully enjoy your day relaxing in the Roman countryside. We can also design a custom day for you based on your desires.
As we have mentioned previously, having a rental car in Rome is not a great idea as parking and traffic make driving in the capital very stressful for tourists. However, arranging for a car service for the day is as simple as sending us an email and confirming your tour. The bonus is that we know all the best wineries and restaurants as well and can create a wonderful, carefree day for you.
Enjoying a glass of local wine at a wine bar in the heart of the city is fun, but actually getting to visit a winery is even better! We know the local Frascati wineries that welcome visitors and have English-speaking staff. During the visit that we arrange for you, your guide will take you on a special tour designed to offer an overview of their production, wine making techniques, and of course some history of the winery and the area.
Some wineries even store their wine in cellars created from caves that have been used to store wine since Roman times. Your visit will conclude with a tasting of the estate’s wonderful wines in a dedicated tasting room. The knowledgeable staff will lead you through the different vintages and types of wine as you taste them.
Frascati wine has been produced in this region since before Roman times, perhaps as early as the 5th Century B.C. according to some historians. Frascati became a DOC wine in 1966, one of the first wines to have this prestigious label.
The regulations for the winemaking say that the wine must be made from the following grapes: a minimum 70% of Malvasia bianca di Candia and/or Malvasia del Lazio (Malvasia puntinata); the remaining 30% can be from any combination of Bellone, Bombino bianco, Greco bianco, Trebbiano toscano, and Trebbiano giallo. Of this 30%, up to 15% can be from other varieties of white grapes not listed above that grow well in the area of production.
Within the same denomination is another wine called Frascati Spumante DOC. This is a bubbly white wine made using the same grapes as the still wine and the bubbles are created using the Martinotti or Charmat method.
The last wines in this appellation, included as of 2011, are Frascati Superiore DOCG and Riserva wines. According to the consortium that promotes and regulates the production of these wines, the Superiore is made from the same grapes as the DOC wines, but requires a slightly higher alcohol content. The Riserva wines are made in special years and depart from the normal idea that white wines are not made for aging. To be labeled as Riserva, the wine must be aged for 12 months, three of which have to be in the bottle, and reach an alcohol content of 13%.
The refreshing white Frascati wines are perfect for warmer weather. Be sure to snap a picture of the wine labels so you can look for your favorite wine on the wine list when you are back in the heart of Rome or at home at your local wine store.
The Castelli Romani area is an intriguing countryside dotted with stunning palaces created over the centuries. This was, and still is today, the playground of Rome’s rich and famous – including Emperors, politicians and stars from nearby Cinecittà (Rome’s answer to Hollywood).
You can combine your wine tasting experience with a visit to one of the charming Castelli Romani towns. You can either eat lunch at one of the wineries or perhaps at a restaurant overlooking Lake Albano. This is the same lake on which the Pope’s summer residence of Castel Gandolfo is located. The residence and magnificent gardens are now open to visitors so be sure to let us know if you would like a reservation, which is highly recommended.
The change of pace on this day trip to the Frascati white wine region from Rome allows for total relaxation as you leave the crush of tourists behind for the day.