Duane McLaughlin

Cesanese 101: Getting to Know Lazio's Signature Red

An in-depth academic study of Cesanese, the quintessential red grape of the Lazio region.

Cesanese grapes on the vine in a Lazio vineyard

Welcome, distinguished readers and oenophiles. I am Duane McLaughlin, embarking with you on an academic exploration of Cesanese, the signature red grape variety of Lazio, offering a rich tapestry of history, culture, and viticulture.

The Historical Roots of Cesanese

Cesanese’s history in Lazio is ancient, intertwined with the region's cultural and viticultural identity. This grape variety has been a cornerstone of local winemaking, with references dating back to Roman times, underscoring its historical significance.

Characteristics of Cesanese Grape

Cesanese is distinguished by its unique profile. The grape typically produces wines with a deep ruby color, a complex bouquet of red fruits, spices, and floral notes, and a well-balanced palate with a distinctive minerality, a reflection of Lazio's terroir.

Viticulture and Winemaking Practices

The cultivation of Cesanese is a testament to the adaptation and resilience of local viticulture. Winemakers in Lazio have honed their practices over centuries, balancing traditional methods with modern techniques to bring out the best in Cesanese wines.

Contemporary Relevance and Challenges

In recent years, Cesanese has experienced a renaissance, with renewed interest from winemakers and connoisseurs. However, it faces challenges such as limited recognition outside Italy and the need for sustainable viticulture in a changing climate.

Understanding Cesanese is to delve into the heart of Lazio's wine heritage, a journey that reveals the intricate bond between a grape variety and its homeland. It is a study not just of a grape but of a region's soul.