The Pallavicinis are one of Italy's oldest noble families, with historical links to Popes and diplomats, and their winemaking history dates all the way back to 1670. It was in this year that they bought 1,600 hectares of land just south of Rome in Italy's central-western Lazio region.The property is now the largest private estate in Frascati.
Until recent years, Frascati hasn't had the highest reputation for wine. Its situation south of Rome made it the perfect place to produce large quantities of bland white wines for the multitudes of tourists to sip outside in the evenings, but in the latter half of the 20th century producers made great efforts to better its reputation. The region's nutrient-rich volcanic soils and mild, sunny climate encourage high yields, but producers like the Pallavicinis have invested in extensive replanting and yieldrestriction to improve the quality and concentration of the grapes.
White varieties in particular thrive in the volcanic soils as they impart high acidity, and the family now has 133 acres dedicated to white grapes, all expertly managed by agronomist Mauro de Angelis. After years of experimentation with the various types of terroir, the different varieties are each planted in specific parcels of land. The vines range in age from around 10 to 20 years old, and the white grapes planted include malvasia di candia, greco, trebbiano, and the native malvasia del Lazio, a variety that, after many years of adapting to the soils, imparts particularly good minerality.
Carlo Ferrini and Carlo Roveda run the cellar, and their aim is to create wines that reflect the true character of its component grapes. As such, only the best grapes are selected after harvest, and they are kept cool and fermented at low temperatures to retain their natural aromas. Pallavicini make different cuvées of Frascati, but we like the single-vineyard Poggio Verde Frascati Superiore best. It spends four to five months on its lees for added texture and complexity.
Frascati Superiore earned DOCG status in 2011, making it one of the only appellations with DOCG status in the Lazio region, and proving that the hard work of the Frascati producers had paid off.
Grower profile: updated 22/10/2013