Welcome Casale del Giglio to VanWineFest 2024

Casale del Giglio Villa (Image courtesy Casale del Giglio)
Casale del Giglio Villa (Image courtesy Casale del Giglio)

Have you heard of Casale del Giglio?  They are an iconic brand located 50km south of Rome that is well known in Rome and Lazio and will be attending VanWineFest 2024.  Of interest is that they are working with the almost forgotten indigenous vines of Lazio.  Below are some questions and answers I received from Elise Rialland at Casale del Giglio.  I’ve tasted their wines several times and they are top quality.  

Q & A With Elise Rialland from Casale del Giglio

Tell me briefly about the history of your winery.

Casale del Giglio has always been motivated by the desire to produce top quality, fairly-priced wines in a swathe of land, the Agro Pontino, little known until recently for its viticultural potential.

Fascinated by the Agro Pontino, Dino Santarelli founded the company there, in the village of Le Ferriere. This was in 1967 and the beginning of what was to become a far-reaching research and experimentation programme when he was joined by his son Antonio and the talented winemaker, Paolo Tiefenthaler.

The aim of the programme, conducted on 180 acres of vineyard, has been, and still is, twofold: first to favour those cultivars which, by their nature and through targeted management, have proved to interact most successfully with the soil and climate of the territory; second to rediscover and restore the status of native vines once thought to be obsolete, such as Biancolella di Ponza, Bellone di Anzio, Cesanese di Olevano Romano and Pecorino di Accumoli.

Casale del Giglio currently offers a range of twenty-five products – ten white wines, one rosé, nine reds, one passito, three grappas and an extra virgin olive oil.

What is special about your winery? Is it your winemaking methods, viticulture, and types of grapes grown?

Ageing Cellar (Image courtesy Casale del Giglio)
Ageing Cellar (Image courtesy Casale del Giglio)

Following the pioneering years spent identifying the vines best suited to the climate of the Agro Pontino plains and the winemaking techniques suited to preserving the quality of our grapes, Casale del Giglio is now well established on the path of an “ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION”. The soil, the plants and the entire ecosystem of our vineyards are at the heart of our current and continuing research. Our objectives are ambitious. We have, for some time now, been implementing a programme of economic and technical development capable of satisfying the needs of the present without compromising those of the future. Our starting point is the soil, key in any kind of cultivation, where wild herbs, flowers and grasses are seen not as weeds to be removed but as an expression of environmental character and a useful component in a balanced ecosystem.

An important aspect in the philosophy of Casale del Giglio wines is respect for the environment and biodiversity. In fact, the company operates quality viticulture with high planting densities and the rejection of herbicides and invasive synthetic products, mainly using copper and sulfur as in an organic regime. Casale del Giglio’s commitment to the environment is also demonstrated by the creation of a photovoltaic system in 2010 which makes the cellar almost totally independent in terms of energy.

Another very important aspect in the philosophy of Casale del Giglio wines is the valorization of the territory, vinifying both international and native vines. The vinifications have a modern approach, and include fermentations with indigenous yeasts, pumping over, délestage, refinements on noble lees and passages in French oak barriques and tonneaux. Antonio Santarelli, with the advice and support of Paolo Tiefenthaler and Attilio Scienza, adopts these choices meticulously with the precise aim of skillfully combining quality and quantity. This is how the Casale del Giglio wines were born: an important line of high-level wines, with a good quality-price ratio capable of illustrating the oenological potential of Lazio and competing with more renowned and appreciated labels on a global level.

What do you hope people attending VanWineFest tasting room will come away with when they taste your wines?

The success of a winery derives from the ability of men to interpret the potential of the territory, which in Agro Pontino offers ideal conditions for creating wines of great Mediterranean character and mineral flavour.

We aim at giving our wines the best characteristics of the varieties combined with the expression of the territory and the savoir-faire of the winemaker Paolo Tiefenthaler to illustrate the great potential of our area and our region, sometimes underestimated on the international viticultural scene.

The Wines We Will Feature at the International Festival Tasting Room

Casale del Giglio wines at VanWineFest 2024
Casale del Giglio wines at VanWineFest 2024

Satrico Lazio Bianco IGT 2022A blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Sauvignon and 20% Trebbiano Giallo grapes. The grapes,
harvested just as they begin to ripen, are vinified separately to ensure that the fresh, distinctive aromas of each variety come through in the final blend.
A bright straw-yellow, this elegant blend reveals a fruity, lightly aromatic yet mineral nose, confirmed on the palate by a pleasing crispness and a lengthy finish. 

‘Anthium’ Bellone Lazio Bianco IGT 2022A variety cited by Pliny the Elder and present in the Latium region since Roman times. This wine is deep yellow flecked with gold. The wine evokes sunshine and ripe tropical fruit such as mango and papaya, carefully balanced by a marked acidity which makes it suitable for long bottle aging. Rich, ample and lingering on the palate with light floral and spicy notes. Hallmarked by its pronounced acidity and zesty tang. A long finish. 

Cesanese Lazio Rosso IGT 2021Cesanese is a low-yield, late-ripening variety which lends itself to late harvesting.  This wine is Deep ruby red. Intense aromas of marasca cherry, typical of late varieties, followed by spicy notes of white pepper, black pepper and violet. The mouthfeel is soft, with persistent tannins and pronounced acidity, essential criteria for long aging. 

‘Matidia’ Cesanese Lazio Rosso IGT 2021 – MATIDIA, who held the title of “Augusta”, was a member of Rome’s Antonine dynasty. Made from 100% Cesanese grapes. This wine has a deep ruby red. Notes of marasca cherry and a delicate spiciness on the nose are carried forward on a fresh, fine palate with flawless tannins. A fusion of elegance and longevity is achieved by carefully underplaying the ripe fruit notes and richly textured mouthfeel. A long mineral finish with a hint of the sea. Well suited to long bottle aging.

Mater Matuta Lazio Rosso IGT 2017The name Mater Matuta derives from that of the ancient Italic goddess of the dawn, protectress of fertility and birth.  This wine has a deep, dense, ruby-red wine which displays outstanding personality both on the nose and on the palate with its aroma of coffee beans, violets, ripe black cherry, coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon. Silky and seductive, but perfectly supported by fine tannins and a pleasing astringency, Mater Matuta delivers a long, lush finish.

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.