The Castelli Romani, the cradle of
viticulture amid lakes and volcanoes.

The soil of the Castelli Romani territory is particularly suitable for viticulture and the production of quality wine, where the vine finds its natural habitat. Vines were skilfully cultivated here even before Roman times, in 753 B.C., amid olive, elm and cherry trees.

The territory of the Castelli Romani originates from the collapse of the Laziale Volcano hundreds of thousands of years ago. The entire area of the inner belt of the Castelli was the main vent of the volcano. When it collapsed, it gave origin to several secondary vents, the most important of which was today’s Monte Cavo (the hollow mountain).

Volcanic soil, like the one of the Castelli Romani area, is vigorous and fertile. It is young, virgin and little-exploited, rich in minerals, above all potassium, and poor in calcium and active limestone. Its fertility is complemented by an additional element of vigour, namely the presence of water in the subsoil. The good availability of water prevents the soil of the vineyards from suffering from water stress and it is indeed in the hottest years that production is of higher quality.

Hilly grounds have always been considered ideal for viticulture and 55% of Lazio is covered with hills of volcanic origin, while 20% of the land is plain concentrated along the coast, in the provinces of Latina and Rome. Further inland, the remaining 25% of the regional territory is mountainous.


The production of Lazio revolves almost entirely around two vine growing and wine making districts: the Castelli Romani and the Viterbo area, the latter better-known as the Tuscia. The Castelli Romani are a huge, compact body, an extensive hilly area south-east of Rome, dotted with Lakes Nemi and Albano. Within this area there are numerous designations of origin, namely Frascati, Marino, Colli Albani, Velletri, Colli lanuvini and many others, but in 1996 the entire area became, in turn, a designation of origin: the Castelli Romani.

The name dates back to the 14th century and derives from the original presence of defensive structures, later converted into abodes and villas. The first settlements were prompted by the economic difficulties and political climate caused by the Avignon Papacy, the period from 1309 to 1377 during which the popes resided in Avignon rather than in Rome. Many Romans hence moved from the city to the countryside, until then used as hunting ground, to the estates of the noble Annibaldi, Orsini and Colonna families.

The wines of
Lazio volcano

Lazio is the third region in Italy for number of DOC wines, with 3 DOCGs, 27 DOCs, and 6 IGTs.

There are numerous autochthonous varieties, and the most important ones include, among many others: Malvasia del Lazio, Trebbiano Verde, Trebbiano Giallo, Bellone, Bombino or Bonvino, Aleatico di Gradoli, Cesanese Comune, Cesanese di Affile, Cacchione, Passerina and Nero Buono di Cori. Other varieties have found here a very hospitable place, sometimes obtaining even better results than in their original areas. These varieties range from Merlot, Syrah and Viognier to Vermentino, Grechetto, Petit Verdot and many others.

The wines produced in this area often have a complex, typical character owing to a combination of pedological and climatic factors. As far as white wines are concerned, we essentially find notes of flowers and fresh fruit and a typical olfactory minerality, which results from the very particular soil spread over the territory. Their taste is essentially sapid, moderately acidic and often ends with bitter notes that are typical of the grape varieties used for their production.

The red wines are characterised by very intense, deep and long-lasting pigments, especially those originating from the more hilly areas. The aroma is that of fresh and ripe red fruit, provided that special attention is paid at the beginning of the harvest, otherwise it could take on jammy and riper notes. The tannins are never astringent but always smooth and mellow, also by virtue of the low acidity of the grapes.

Gotto d’oro wines originate from the soil of the Castelli Romani and the tenacity of our members. For more than 75 years, they have cultivated their vineyards, handed down from generation to generation, thus making it possible for 8 million hands to reach out and grasp the wines chosen every year from the Gotto d’oro cellar.

Need help? We're on Whatsapp