Damiano Ciolli produces wines in Olevano Romano on the South-Eastern hillsides, just outside the ancient city of Rome. The hilly and mountainous country is made up of mostly volcanic soil. Over the last 4 generations the Ciolli family worked the land and sold their grapes to other local wine producers. Then, in 2001, Damiano took over the family winery and began to bottle his wines along with the support and collaboration of his longtime significant other Letizia Rocchi, who earned her PhD in grapevine physiology and winemaking.
The wines they make together are a testament to the nobility of the Cesanese D’Affile grape and the great terroir of the Ciolli vineyards. As a young man Damiano spent much time traveling to the best vineyards of Europe tasting and examining best practices and traditional techniques. His move back to Olevano Romano allowed him to breathe new life and winemaking experience into the centuries old estate.
Today these vineyard lands extend over 7ha of steep Roman hillside where all the work is done manually. This family held land lies in a natural amphitheater with a Southern exposure and surrounded on all sides, similar in shape to the Conca d’Oro in Chianti Classico (Panzano), but at a breezy 450 meters above sea level. The Southern aspect, the deep red colored volcanic soils, and excellent diurnal temperature variation give the Cesanese d’Affile grape perfect ripening conditions on the ancient Ciolli estate. Cirsium and Silene are the names of wild flowers that are commonly found amidst the rows of vines in the countryside of Olevano Romano.
In antiquity, Latium wines were considered the world's best, reserved only for emperors and those close to them. This is epitomized by the 'Opimian vintage of 121 BC,' so age-worthy that they were served at a 60 B.C. banquet for Julius Caesar, in honor of his Spanish conquests! Until recently, however, Latium wines often left much to be desired. But this all changed in the 90's, with pioneers like Fiorano, and more recently, with the likes of Andrea Occhipinti and Damiano Ciolli. Cesanese is Ciolli's specialty and it is by far one of the best we have tried.
Country: Italy Region: Lazio
Appellation: Cesanese d’Olevano Romano Superiore DOC
Growing Area: Olevano Romano
Grape Variety: 100% Cesanese d’Affile
Aging: 12 months in concrete vats, further 3 months in bottle
Soil: Deep red Volcanic
Training Method: ‘Ventaglio’ and spurred cordon.
Altitude: 450 m.a.s.l.
Aging potential: 5 to 8
Available ONLY for pick up, delivery or shipping in California.