By the end of the year, the famous magazine Food & Wine has published its list of top Italian wineries of the year. In the list, from the Lazio region, Damiano Ciolli: winery located in the “Terre del Cesanese e Ciociaria” enoregion.
The small winery of Damiano Ciolli is the creator of valuable expressions of the territory of Olevano Romano, a charming town of medieval Lazio located just over 50 kilometers southeast of Rome. For generations the Ciolli family has been dedicated to viticulture, with Damiano’s grandfather and father selling bulk wine in the capital. It was precisely with Damiano, in 2001, that the estate made the qualitative leap that has led it today to be counted among the most interesting production companies in Lazio. A key figure in the winery is Letizia Rocchi, a talented oenologist and life partner of Damiano who has amassed wine experiences in Sauternes, Stellebosch and in the state of Washington.
Damiano Ciolli has 6 hectares of vineyards, distributed around the village of Olevano Romano between 300 and 450 meters above sea level. The vineyards are rooted in red soils of volcanic origin, particularly rich in mineral salts. At the heart of the production of Damiano and Letizia is the autochthonous Cesanese di Affile, next to which there are other local varieties such as Cesanese Comune, Ottonese and Trebbiano Verde (the latter is a biotype of Verdicchio). The agronomic management follows the principles of organic farming and also provides for the use of biodynamic preparations. The harvests are done by hand with a careful selection of the grapes, which are then transferred to the cellar where fermentation occurs spontaneously thanks to the action of indigenous yeasts. Only cement tanks and large oak barrels are used as wine jars.
There are just three labels made by Damiano Ciolli: Cesanese di Olevano Romano Riserva ‘Cirsium’, Cesanese di Olevano Romano Superiore ‘Silene’ and ‘Botte 22’, a white wine recently introduced from a rare blend of Trebbiano Verde and Ottonese. Among these, the top label is the ‘Cirsium’, a 100% Cesanese di Affile whose grapes come from a small vineyard planted in 1953 and raised as a sapling. In general, Ciolli’s Cesanese are characterized by remarkable personality and expressive purity, with a crisp freshness that makes the drink absolutely irresistible.