Today no wine producer deserving to be called such, counts only on the sugar content of his grapes, the famous technological maturation sees many other aspects taken into consideration to establish the right moment to harvest.
So, I want to launch an alarm, let us not underestimate the importance of sunshine in the ripening of grapes, both for a question of warmth and also for its luminosity that irradiates the bunches and transforms the berries. Latitude has always been important in this aspect, which is why sugars that are used as normal practice in France and Germany, are prohibited in Italy! Here in Italy the sun and the climate generally give us the possibility to obtain important levels of alcohol content, more often than not, naturally.
This makes me say that I love solar wines, not because they are more alcoholic but because they express themselves in the glass with that warmth and luminosity, that don't make your teeth go on edge, that round off the 'green' notes of some varieties; they have a soft, velvety, mature fruit and sweet tannins that recall the true essence of the Mediterranean.
Under a pergola or sheltered in a cool cellar, the pleasure of the warm Italian summer expresses its origins. Because we are the wine leaders of the World. We don't have 3 or 4 territories cultivated with a handful of varieties like some other wine producing contras, 545 different grape varieties will be on show at the Milan EXPO 2015 as from May. A biodiversity unique to Italy, that Helios has helped us to select for the past 3000 years and that when we are no longer around, will continue to delight those that love the good in life.
Every grape has an appointment. One day, or sometimes just an hour, in which to rush it to the cellar as fast as lightening! Every single minute more, a small fraction of taste or perfume gets lost forever. No! not after all those months of taking special care so that they reach their best condition!
Sugar? OK. Acidity? OK. Ph? OK…in the laboratory they help us decide, as they always have, which is the best moment to start this ancient ritual that is wine-making. But then some of us, in a very scientific manner, wander down the rows of vines, in the coolest hours. Clean mouth, the palate warned and ready. WE pick off some grapes and we chew them.
The sweetness, the freshness, the tannic taste of the skins, the intense aromas, the way in which the pulp comes away from the pip, how the pips seem to us; whether they are crunchy, caffeine-like, the taste they leave behind in our mouth, the thousands of different hints. The Grape Tasters, looking for promise and premise.
Quick now! Don't miss this moment, this unrepeatable moment. No two years are ever the same. Moments that leave their mark on our lives.
Sometimes after years, I have tasted in a bottle precisely that grape from that particular morning. I recognized him and we greeted each other like two old friends. I didn't imagine it. It really was him, a drop of wine.
Once upon a time, many years ago, wines were transported on splendid carts pulled by horses, that went and did the rounds to deliver to restaurants and Osterie from the Castelli to Rome.
This un-interrupted coming and going happened along the ancient consular roads; Appia, Tuscolana, Anagnina, Casilina or Prenestina, along which agents awaited to take payment for duties leaving a receipt to show that tax had been duly paid.
The Wine merchants soon discovered that it was the wine that travelled along the Tuscolana, the normal route from Frascati, that got the best reception from restauranteurs and inn keepers. Thus wines coming through the Tuscolana tax gate had the reputation for being the best quality wine! Wine merchants of other wines from other areas in the Castelli soon cottoned on, so, even if it meant getting their carts to go a long way round down into Rome, it was worth their while to make it look as though the wine had come from Frascati!! A hedonistic value had been invented, a plus: I Drink Frascati Therefore I Am…
This is one of the reasons that the first ever Consortium of Guarantee was born…nearly a hundred years ago.
a group of people, that have lived and experienced the wonderful atmosphere of Frascati for many years, and now wish to share it with you.