By Mary Catherine Rooney
The vineyards of Casale del Giglio in the Agro Pontino Valley, about 30 miles south of Rome, are an anomaly of old and new traditions in Italy. While almost every region in Italy grows and cultivates grapes for wine, up until 2985 no wine grapes were cultivated in the Agro Pontino Valley where the Estate of Giglio was founded in 1967 by Dr. Bernardino Santarelli.
With the back drop of ancient hillsides and temples dedicated to gods and goddesses, Dr. Santarelli and his son began a massive scientific investigation into what would be the perfect grapes for wine making in the Agro Pontino Valley. The research and scientific experiments undertaken were foreign in a country that has been making wine for thousands of years.
Today Casale del Giglio offers seventeen products, including six whites, six reds, one rose, one dessert, and three grappas.
One of their most distinctive wines that encompasses the blend of old and new is the Satrico, a white blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Trebbiano Giallo. This wine is named for the pre-Roman city of Satricum where the site of a temple to goddess Mater Matuta still remains and can be seen from the vineyards of Casale del Giglio. This wine is an elegant blend that is fruity, crisp and lightly aromatic with a lengthy finish. Satrico goes great with fish and is the perfect aperitif.
Casale del Giglio’s Merlot is a winner of the prestigious Italian wine award Gambero Rosso. This wine is 100% merlot and is a deep ruby red with aromas of small red berried fruits and cherry. The feel is smooth and well-rounded with herbal notes. Try this wine with pork dishes and pastas with tomato sauce.
The Petite Verdot of Casale del Giglio is 100% Petite Verdot, a rarity given that it is traditionally used in blends throughout Bordeaux, where the grape originated. This is a deep crimson wine that is full of red berry fruit, cherry, myrtle and juniper. The wine is elegant and full-bodied which presents a spicy, white peppery finish. Try this wine with lamb or pizza.
The wines of Casale del Giglio offer a delicate balance between old world traditions and new world techniques. Find these wines and more from Casale del Giglio at Siesta Key Wines located in the Siesta Key Village .