Cesanese del Piglio a tipical Roman grape varietal
Discover the undiscovered wine from Rome. It’s a grape with very old origins and stories go it might be the wine that the ancient Romans used to drink!
By India Donisi
Last summer in Rome I was scrolling through the wine list of the famous restaurant Flavio al velavevo detto (read all about it in my Ultimate Rome City Guide and stumbled upon a wine I had never heard of. The so called Cesanese del Piglio. I instantly googled it and to my surprise I read it is one of the oldest varieties to be found in the region of Lazio! Supposedly this is the grape the ancient Romans made their (sweet) red wines with!
Of course I had to order the wine to taste this special varietal and what I tasted did not disappoint me! A beautiful ruby red color, fruity and floral tones in the nose and a very elegant taste. The aftertaste had some bitters which is very common among Italian wines. It paired so well with the home made ravioli I ordered! In fact it is a wine that pairs well with all traditional Roman dishes.
Nowadays the variety is in decline since there is less than a 1.000 hectares left. Some Roman restaurants have the wine on their wine list but not many! I did go looking for it in some local supermarkets and couldn’t find it there. I recommend if you are in Rome and want to taste it, you go to the better wine stores or try the traditional restaurants.