Ciociaria da Bere: Tasting the World of the Ciociaria Naturale Wine Producers of South Lazio

Ciociaria refers to some territories between today's Lazio and Campania regions during the 19th century. Modern times did not drop the name, instead it is used with pride by its inhabitants for the beautiful territory is known for rich natural resources such as fresh water streams, woodlands on hillly terrain and ancient gastronomy attached to the territory. A clear definition of its boundaries has never really been provided, but just historically and administratively referred to as Lazio or Campagna di Roma. The three morphological areas covered by Ciociaria are the Apennines of Monti Simbruini, Monti Ernici until the group of Monti della Meta Mainarde; the pre-Apennines with parts of Monti Lepini, Monti Ausoni and Monti Aurunci; and the valley of Latina. The larger inhabited parts include the towns of Frosinone, Fiuggi, Anagni, Ferentino, Sora, Arpino, Alatri, Veroli, and Atina in the heart of the Comino Valley.

This part of lower Lazio has a group of strong-willed young winemakers who believe collectively in highlighting their landscape's special characteristics by cultivating disappearing indigenous grape varieties like Maturano Bianco, Maturano Nero, Pampanaro, Lecinaro, Capolongo, Raspato Nero and Reale Bianca. Their cultivated lands are small and they affirm in following the ecological and ethical approach to agriculture and producing wine naturally, most of them vinified in amphorae.

First there were five of them who started to share their ideas which then evolved into a project of creating a small association of winemakers who have confidence in promoting the excellence of their territory and growing vines organically, with the biodynamic agriculture, as well as the system of holo-homeopathy, with a unified philosophy of sustainability, with practices that are environmentally friendly and ethical. And this is how Ciociaria Naturale started its journey which has now multiplied to its present number of ten members. They have their own stories to tell, wisdom to share and friendship to raise their glasses to, because together, they are constructing something important with their united effort to take out the excellence of Ciociaria, the natural way. It takes courage and more work to cultivate vines that are almost extinct and we should be grateful for their perseverance because if not for them, we won't be enjoying these unique wines in our glasses.

So on the last night of January, at Ciocioria da Bere, all ten producers presented themselves and their wines to an audience of wine enthusiasts at Mercato Centrale Roma and conducted by Andrea Petrini of Slow Food Roma.

The participating wine producers were:

Vitivinicola Cioffi

Cioffi is an organic and biodynamic farm owned by the agronomist Anselmo Ernesto Cioffi. It was born in 1990 and later on his sons Nazareno and Andrea joined the company. The vineyards are divided into 4 areas, around the village of Pescosolido, for one surface total of 1.2 hectares, to which are added 3 small plots of new planting trained in the Alberata Ciociara system, the most widespread form of vine training in the Frusinate area until the 1950s and 1960s. They cultivate Passerina, Maturano Bianco, Pampanaro, Capolongo Bianco, Lecinaro and Maturano Nero.

Fra i Monti

Fra i Monti is located in Terelle, in the province of Frosinone. Founded in 2018, it is led by Rocco and Benedetto Leone. They recovered old abandoned vineyards at a high latitude of about 1000 meters above sea level. The vineyards are cultivated with Maturano Bianco, a native cultivar that went almost extinct and Semillion, a vine imported from France in the Napoleonic era.

I Ciacca

A ghost village, near Picinisco which was saved and transformed by a Cesidio Di Ciacca in a real cultural center equipped with a library, a wine shop, a space for cooking lessons, a suite, while in the vineyards the Maturano vine has been cultivated since 2017.


The company was born in 2016 by three friends from the passion for natural wines and from the desire to bring to the fore the territory of Esperia, characterized by an ancient tradition of winegrowing and with a unique geological history. There are 4 hectares of vineyards, 1.5 hectares of which make up the Aurete vineyard, 2 hectares the Via Romana vineyard and half hectare the Cariano vineyard from 1840. The vines planted are Reale Bianca and Raspato Nero.

Il Vecchio Poggio
Located in Isola di Liri where Amedeo and Graziella, at the end of the 1990s bought an old olive grove on a hillock, producing oil. A few years later, the dream of making wine drives them to plant 800 square meters of Cabernet and Malvasia di Candia, then in 2013 Syrah, while Cabernet and Riesling came in 2017 with the first harvest.

Maria Ernesta Berucci
The company was founded in 2008, and today represents the union of two agricultural projects and two lives, that of Maria Ernesta and her husband Geminiano. The estate covers a total area of 2.5 hectares in the countryside around the village of Piglio, where they cultivated Passerina del Frusinate and Cesanese di Affile through organic farming, aligned to natural dynamics and making use of homeopathic treatments.

Palazzo Tronconi
Born in 2010 from the idea of Marco Marrocco who began to plant ancient vines such as Lecinaro, Ulivello Nero, Pampanaro, Capolongo and Maturano Bianco together with other varieties such as Malvasia Puntinata, Moscato di Terracina and Syrah in a total land area of 14 hectares.

La Visciola
The company was founded in 2005 when Piero Macciocca decided to change his life and follow in the footsteps of his father who produced wine in the Piglio area. Starting from a vineyard owned by his wife Rosa, today they cultivate both Passerina del Frusinate and Cesanese di Affile subdivided into 4 crus.

Carlo Noro

Located in the Roman countryside of Piglio, Carlo Noro did not immediately embark on the path of agriculture like his family because he was tied up in his work at a bank for two decades. However, the passion for agriculture was always there so he returned to Ciociaria to devote himself to the land. He is considered one of the forerunners of biodynamics in Italy, as well as one of the founders of the Lazio section. In addition to producing wine and oil from local varieties, he also does training through a school who wish to imprint a biodynamic work on their land.

D.S. Bio
Danilo Scenna founded the company in 2012 with the aim to grow grape vines in a sustainable way combining tradition and innovation in a harmonious way using modern technology with and the biodynamic agricultural practices and experience of local farmers. He has always felt a strong bond with the tradition of his territory and this is completely reflected in his company.

Ciociaria Naturale