57 experiments: how scientific research changed viticulture of Lazio

In the 80s, Lazio’s wine culture was not remarkable for its achievements and was rather an outsider. The main reasons were that manufacturers set their minds on quantity but not quality, the typology of the soil was not studied, and many of the vines were simply not cultivated.

After comparing this depressing situation in Lazio with the neighboring regions, where one world boom after another took place, the young winemaker Antonio Santarelli decided to experiment. An interesting feature is that the area of ​​Aprilia, where is located his company Casale del Giglio, is situated on drained marshes, just like Bordeaux. It has to be potential here!

Antonio invited scientists from the universities of Milan and Adige so they analyze the soil, precipitation per year and temperature. In addition, under the supervision of the enologist from Trentino Paolo Tiefenthaler, they allocated a small plot of land where they planted 57 vines to see which one would give the best result.

Paolo Tiefenthaler and Antonio Santarelli | Photo: casaledelgiglio.it

Three years later, the first crop was harvested. About a dozen vines were selected to be cultivated.

After several years of study, a new stage of development of winemaking in Lazio has begun. Following Casale, other farms also began to better engage in vines and land.

Today the area of ​​Casale is about 180 hectares, which makes it one of the largest in Lazio. In the company, they still keep wine made of all 57 samples.

Exposition with the samples at Casale del Giglio

But the most surprising thing is not even this, but the fact that the experiments do not stop. I sincerely recommend you, if an opportunity will arise, to try these two wines together:


They are made from a single grape variety – Bellone autochton.

The difference is: that Antium is a young, fresh wine, but Radix – aged 2 years in tanneaux, 9 months in amphora and 6 months in a bottle before being released to the market.

I had a feeling that I was watching the transformation of a girl into a woman. Young, light Anthium, gaining experience, going through certain life cycles, absorbed the surrounding reality and turned into a mature, confident, strong woman.

PS: from Rome to Casale is about 40 minutes by car. The sea is also not far 🙂



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