When in Rome do as the Romans do. And one of those of those things is drinking wine.
Last weekend on my girlie escape to Rome we decided to experience the Italian vineyards in style with The Old Frascati Wine Tour.
This half day wine tour was just a 25 minute train ride outside of Rome and allowed us to taste authentic Frascati “porchetta” and sample fantastic speciality wine whilst meeting the locals who create it.
Our beautiful tour guide Dominique met us at the train station at 10am in Frascati and we were immediately introduced to the locals who sit and people watch every Sunday morning on the promenade. It was so authentic and the group of locals took time to meet us and tell us about their beautiful town. We then spent time taking some photos and gazing over the scenic hillside overlooking Rome. Dominique then took us through the cobbled streets to the town square where we learned about the town’s basilica and history.
As luck would have it, the Sunday we chose for our tour was the day of Frascati’s annual carnivale! As we walked through the town centre, young children were already pouring onto the street in their costumes and floats were being arranged ready for the parade later in the afternoon.
Dominique knew lots of fantastic local hotspots for photos and with the sun beating down on a blissful February morning, we couldn’t have been happier. Our first stop on the tour was the local bakery where we met the chief baker, Nona Rosanna, who’d been baking there for 90 years. She was friendly and warm and welcomed Dominique and the tour group inside to sample some of her pizza bianco and porchetta. It was belissimo! We also tasted our first glass of wine at the bakery.
The next stop was a traditional wine cellar where we sampled 14% homemade wine. Strong but delicious. I tried to pace myself but the authentic setting (and the fact my stomach had been well lined in the bakery) tempted me to share a carafe with Kirsty, my holiday partner in time.
After our morning tour of the town, drivers awaited us to take us on to The Old Vineyard, owned by 6th and 7th generation winemakers as part of a cooperative including Domingue’s family.
We walked through the fields and sat down to sample the wine following a tour of the wine cellars. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The wine is stored in caves and tunnels under the vineyard to ensure the wine stays at an even 12-13 degrees throughout the year. It’s both claustrophopic and captivating and I felt so privileged to be able to see ‘behind the scenes’. Some of the Antiche Terre Tuscolane wines are still made by crushing grapes the traditional way and the tour also allowed us to see some of the equipment used.
In the old farm house our group sat down to sample the delicious Frascati wines. Dominique also shared selection of breads and oils from the bakery which we enjoyed alongside our drink. We even tried a wine cookie – a biscuit dipped into sweet wine. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
The tour ended with lunch back in the town of Frascati (included in the cost of the tour of course)! Kirsty and I shared an antipasti and an amatriciana pasta alongside a bottle of Frascati white wine (again all included in the tour price).
The tour is rated very highly on Tripadvisor and for 55 euros I cannot recommend this tour enough. It was a truely magical experience and the wine, the culture and the people I met on the tour were all fantastic.
As we parted with Dominique and the rest of the guests on the tour, we joined in the Frascati carnivale celebrations and the rest of the afternoon became a plesant, confetti filled blur!