Known as the ancient homeland of the Latins, today there is a vigorus wine industry beyond the city limits of modern, bustling Rome. The Cesanese grape, full of red berry, spice and rose, is responsible for Lazio’s only true local reds. Lazio’s most famous white wine, called Frascati, is based on the local Malvasia del Lazio and Trebbiano Toscana. A sweet version, called Cannellino di Frascati, is also made.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.