If you know anything about Italy, you might be aware that we’re pretty big on wine here. And while Tuscany and Piedmont may get all the credit as far as rolling green vineyards go, Rome’s home region of Lazio is sure to delight even the most die-hard enophile. And even if you’re not quite at sommelier status yet, rest assured that you’ll at least know your way around an Italian wine list after your visit to one of these spots. We’ve got grounds that date back to Ancient Roman times, grandiose territories owned by princes, and everything in between. Stop by one of these wineries near Rome for an idyllic escape to vino heaven.
1. Principe Pallavicini Estate Winery (Colonna)
If popes and royalty once appreciated the wines from Principe Pallavicini Estate, you know it’s gotta be good. And being able to enjoy these fabulous wines with a stunning view of Rome itself? Simply unforgettable.
The Pallavicini family has been in the wine business since 1670, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing. Their largest vineyard, Marmorelle, lies just half an hour south of Rome by car near the town of Colonna. In addition to stunning panoramic views that reach Rome itself (you can even see the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica!), the grounds are also home to ancient Roman basalt rock quarries that are still in use today.
But wait—what about the wine? We’re getting there. The vineyard offers estate tours and indulgent food and wine experiences that can be expressly tailored to your needs. From the first sip, you’ll understand why their signature wines have revolutionized the art of winemaking here in Lazio.
2. Casale del Marchese (Frascati)
With a pastoral setting among the foothills of an ancient volcano, it’s easy to think you’ve somehow stepped into a painting when arriving at Casale del Marchese. Less than an hour’s drive southeast of Rome, this gorgeous corner of wine paradise consists of 50 hectares of vines and ancient olive trees. As a bonus, it comes with plenty of history to boot—the 18th century villa was built right on top of two ancient Roman cisterns, and the site has been in use since the Middle Ages, even serving as the home of Marquis Emilio de Cavalieri’s home.
The Carletti family has been running the winery for centuries, with brothers Alessandro and Fernandino at the helm today. Their excellent Frascati DOCG wines are best tasted on a tour of the property, which consists of a journey through the ancient vineyards and historical cellars, during which you’ll learn about the history and fine art of wine production. The grand finale is a wine and food pairing in the 18th-century cellars to cap off an experience you won’t soon forget. And for those looking to get a bit more exercise, they even offer a Nordic walking experience (with a final tasting, of course!).
3. Cantina del Tufaio (Zagarolo)
Not may people can claim to have enjoyed a sip of one of the rarest Italian sparkling wines in a cave right in the heart of an ancient estate. In fact, we’d be willing to be that the lucky visitors to Cantina del Tufaio are the only people with that bragging right. In fact, the experience is so serene and tranquil that you’ll be hard-pressed to believe that the family-run winery is only 30 kilometers away from Rome.
31-year-old sommelier Nicoletta Loreti proudly runs the show at Cantina del Tufaio today, following in her family’s footsteps of nearly 140 years of winemaking tradition. The Zagarolo DOC wines produced here are produced the same way they have been for centuries: by hand as much as possible, with special attention paid to the quality of the vines throughout the whole process.
The real standout here, though, is the tuff cave that serves as the setting for the wine tasting following the 90-minute tour of the estate. This exceptional venue makes Cantina del Tufaio stand out as one of our all-time favorite wineries near Rome, and once you check it out for yourself, you’ll love it as well.
4. Casale del Giglio (Aprilia)
Starting a winery from scratch on drained wetland isn’t a gamble most people would make, but luckily it worked out for Antonio Santarelli and his father, Dino. Along with their wine guru business partner Paolo Tiefenthaler, they transformed a glorified swamp into Casale del Giglio, one of the most renowned wineries near Rome focusing almost exclusively on international, rather than native, varietals.
The Santarelli family, along with Tiefenthaler, became pioneers in the world of Italian wine as a result of their brave experiment. 25 years after the project began, the winery now consists of 180 hectares of certified organic vineyards kissed by the incoming sea breeze. And even though its founders were unaware of it at the time they began their endeavor, the area actually does have an ancient winemaking tradition. The remnants of a city dating from the 9th century BC were found beneath the surface while the vineyards were being formed, along with evidence that its inhabitants used to cultivate grapes and produce their own wine.
Visiting the winery today will give you an exclusive look at the ancient past and contemporary present of winemaking in the area, from a picturesque stroll through the vineyards to the panoramic terraces allowing sweeping views over the entire estate.
5. Antiche Cantine Migliaccio (Ponza)
What could be better than sipping on wine on a sunny Mediterranean island? Not much, in our book. That’s exactly what’s in store at Antiche Cantine Migliacchio, one of the most unique wineries near Rome—as well as the furthest away. It’s actually located out on the island of Ponza, but easily reachable by boat from the suburb of Anzio.
Unpretentious yet astonishing, it’s hard to believe that a place like Ponza actually exists. The winemaking tradition here dates back to the early 18th century, but the winery itself is actually quite new, having been founded in 2000 by Emanuele Vittorio and Luciana Sabino. They offer two equally fascinating experiences—one for wine newbies and another for guests who already know their stuff—both of which include plenty of fabulous food to nibble as you sip.
6. Cantina Castello di Torre in Pietra (Torrimpietra)
A charming medieval hamlet-turned-wine lovers’ paradise, Cantina Castello di Torre in Pietra is a living story in and of itself. The tireless entrepreneurial family with a knack for reinvention that runs the winery today draws its inspiration from the ancient nobility that began the winemaking tradition in the area. With 16th- and 17th-century palazzos, a charming church, and lush courtyards, the property seamlessly blends past and present in a way that will leave you breathless.
The same family has been running the winery since the early 1900s. Today, the property occupies a sprawling 52 hectares with bio-certified production. Experiences can be customized based on what you’re looking for: enjoy a tasting on its own, or combine it with a tour of the wine cellars. You can even request a visit to the castle and the frescoes followed by a traditional lunch or dinner in the wine cellar if you want to go all out.
7. Casale Cento Corvi (Cerveteri)
Bursting with history and lush greenery around every turn, the Casale Cento Corvi winery provides a perfect escape from bustling Rome. Located in the ancient Etruscan city of Cerveteri about 40 km north of the Eternal City, the proud heritage here is one of its hallmarks. Even its name is an homage to the crows that were once drawn to the 15th century granary constructed by the noble Orsini family over an Etruscan temple!
With a solid combination of hard work and support for bio-viticulture, the Collacciani family has kept the winery’s rich tradition alive today. They even managed to resurrect the nearly-extinct Giacché vine, whose products are a must-try for enophiles. The incredible tours will give you a taste of history, wine and the sea all in one, providing the experience of a lifetime.
8. Antiche Cantine Leonardi (Montefiascone)
Exploring the charming hills of Montefiascone overlooking the southeastern shores of Europe’s largest volcanic lake, all while tasting local wines? We’re convinced. Nature and wine lovers alike will want to check out Antiche Cantine Leonardi, the area’s oldest winery.
What makes this winery especially unique is its signature DOC, known as Est! Est!! Est!!!. The unusual name dates back to a 12th century tale of a German priest making a pilgrimage to Rome, whose scout alerted him of the fabulous wine in the area by marking “est! est!! est!!!” (Latin for “it is, it is, it is!”) above the door of the local inn. We’d have to agree with the fabled scout on this one—the wine here is truly exquisite, and best enjoyed with one of their bespoke tasting tours.