Tenuta di Fiorano: The Story of a Prince Who Fell in Love with Winemaking in Rome

The story of Tenuta di Fiorano evolves around a prince who fell in love with something quite unexpected: winemaking. It all starts in 1946 with Prince Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, who comes from one of Itay's oldest noble families with a line of eighteen noble titles when he took over his family's 200-hectare land outside Rome. The second among the eight children of Prince Francesco Boncompagni Ludovisi, the 28-year old prince was the only who had the interest in tilling the land with vines.

Tenuta di Fiorano is located between the Ciampino Airport of Rome and Appian Way, one of the earliest and most important ancient Roman roads. Both ways, the position of the vast land of the wine estate may seem an unlikely spot but what's important is underneath the surface that keeps the treasure of the land because the area has soil of volcanic origin. That's because the nearby ancient Latium Volcano had left enormous quantities of purple pozzolanic ash. Here, he cultivated four varieties organically, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for his red wines, and Semillon and Malvasia di Candia for his whites. His friends, the prestigious winemaker Tancredi Biondi Santi and renowned wine critic Luigi Veronelli mentored him along the way. He had a small production of extraordinary monumental wines which he continued to make until 1998 when, with an ailing health and having moved to the center of Rome, he uprooted almost all the vineyards.

Having led a reserved life at the estate, he only saw a few people, two of which are his cousin Paolo Boncompagni Ludovisi and Paolo's 20-year old son Alessandrojacopo. Although Alessadrojacopo did not have so much experience in viniculture, what he had was the passion for wine which he enriched with viticulture lessons from Alberico. At the estate, the organic principles of viticulture were strictly executed from the cultivation of the grapes until the making of the wine which Alessandrojacopo meticulously followed. Father and son became increasingly involved in running the estate after Alberico retired to Rome from where he continued to be involved in the business.

In 1999 they replanted the vineyards that were previously uprooted with Grechetto and Viognier in place of Malvasia di Candia and Semillon for the Fiorano Bianco while they maintained the vines of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot at the same vineyards for the Fiorano Rosso. In between that year until 2004, Alessandrojacopo acquired other 13 hectares of land adding to the estate. Since Alberico’s death in 2005, Alessandrojacopo has been in full control of the 200-hectare estate that aside from the vineyards which occupies 12 hectares, it also has olive groves, cropland and pastures.  The farming methods has been rigorously organic and self-sufficient and with this, a totally balanced ecosystem is maintained. Above all, the Cantina Storica (Historical Cellar) of the estate which are underground caves, that Alberico persevered in safeguarding which only a lucky few were allowed to see is still preserved by Alessandrojacopo until now including its tradition of secrecy. 

Tradition is valuable at Tenuta di Fiorano and following what Alberico has institutionalized, the grapes continue to be handpicked and pressed by hands while the fermentation is done in the Vecchia Cantina (Old Cellar) and then moved for ageing in the old oak barrels at the Cantina Storica (Historic Cellar). The strength of the elements that define the identity of the wines of Tenuta di Fiorano is derived from its territory. The composition of the soil is highly volcanic which is rich in minerals and thanks to this, and the excellent drainage, the vines grow with the incredible factors that contribute to the great capacity to age coupled with the technical ageing process it goes through in the cellar. In 2012, Alessandro released the first vintage which was a Fiorano Rosso 2006.

Here are the wines that Alessandrojacopo Boncompagni Ludovisi presented in the wine tasting he conducted:

Fioranello Bianco 2019
A blend of 50% Grechetto and 50% Viognier, fermentation with indigenous yeasts then ageing in steel tanks for 6 months and another 4 months in the bottle before its release. A straw yellow colored wine with golden reflections with an intense aromas of crispy green apples and pears, a field of white flowers, acacia honey, lemon peel, notes of tropical fruits and a salinity that appears in the end. The mouth has a pronounced acidity, sapidity, fruit-forward with floral notes, smooth and persistent. Such a pleasant white wine of excellence that expresses elegance and harmony. 93/100

Fiorano Bianco 2017

A blend of Grechetto and Voignier, ageing on the lees in 10-hectoliter Slavonian oak and chestnut barrels for 12 months with partial malolactic fermentation. In the glass, the color is golden yellow with an intense and complex nose of tropical fruits, medium honey, ripe yellow peach, stone and hints of vanilla and butter. The mouth well-balanced, corresponding to the aromas, soft with marked acidity, a layer of sapidity and persistent. Elegant and harmonious the beginning of excellent evolution and can still show its maximum for a few more years. 92/100

Fioranello Rosso 2017

Obtained from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with fermentation in steel tanks with indigenous yeasts then maturation in tonneau for 12 months and in the bottle for months before its release to the market, this being the current one. In the glass, this red wine shows a deep ruby red color with an intense and complex nose of bold aromas that recall dark fruits like plums, blackberries and blueberries, cinnamon, vanilla, eucalyptus, dried tobacco leaves and a note of smokiness. The mouth opens to the dark berries and preserved plums, elegant, balanced and smooth with soft tannins and a persistent finish. An enjoyable sip with sincere character. 89/100

Fiorano Rosso 2013

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, aged in old 10-hectoliter Slavonian oak barrels for 30 months. Ruby red in color with highlights of garnet with an intense and ample complexity in the nose. Blueberries and blackberries push first in the nose as it opens to a broader range of aromas of preserved dark fruits, cedar, charred wood, tobbaco and forest floor. The mouth was a bit closed at the beginning which slowly opened to a good acidity, with initial grainy tannins that smoothened out to velvety texture in the end, elegant and persistent. Going towards its maturity and can express beautifully in the succeeding years. 92/100

Tenuta di Fiorano

Via di Fioranello, 19 (Appia Antica)
00134 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 0679340169
Website: https://tenutadifiorano.it/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laTenutadiFiorano