Caligola Roma DOC Bio: Wines Submerged for Two Years in the Depths of Lake Nemi

Lake Nemi, once an inspiration for renowned artists in the earlier centuries and home to two ancient Roman galleys from Emperor Caligula's time, sparks inspiration anew. This small volcanic lake, approximately 5.6 kilometers around, rests within the outer ring of the ancient Alban crater in the Alban Hills, near the southern edge of Rome. Lake Nemi, also known as the "Speculum Dianae," holds a significant story in the area's past. Historically speaking, the lake had been revered by the ancient Romans for their entertainment, vacation, and worship dedicated to the goddess Diana.

José Amici, a young entrepreneur and diving expert has led a groundbreaking winemaking venture emerging from the lake's depths. According to José, the microclimate and the lake water temperatures enhance the wine's quality and flavor. Supported by his family, proprietors of Monte Due Torri in Genzano di Roma, Agriturismo Il Borgo and La Vista in Ariccia, the center of this endeavor is Caligola Roma DOC Bio, wine made from grapes cultivated in their vineyards on the hills of Ariccia and Genzano di Roma. Caligola is produced from four varieties of grapes, namely: 50% Montepulciano, 30% Cesanese and the rest with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz which are cultivated in soils of volcanic origin at 250 meters above sea level.

When asked how it all started, he says that it all commenced with just a few bottles for their year-end celebrations. Subsequently, he discerned the potential for a more substantial undertaking on which he then enlisted the aid of other divers to submerge the wine in the lake. Vinified in steel, aged in conical oak vats and bottled for a year in their winery, Tenuta Monte Due Torri, 500 bottles of this red blend were submerged in the depths of Lake Nemi, resting 15 meters below the surface for a duration of two more years. It is within this submerged sanctuary that the wine undergoes a transformative journey, harnessing the darkness, volcanic properties of the water, and the absence of oxygen to acquire distinct characteristics.

For this ambitious endeavor, José was awarded Coldiretti's 2020 Green Oscar award, an esteemed accolade tailored for young agricultural entrepreneurs. Moving forward, he aspires to orchestrate another project, Dispensa di Caligola which entails submerging more products such as such as oil, honey, cheeses, cured meats, dried pasta, spices, and other sundry items, in conjunction with organic producers in the vicinity. The idea is to lower a waterproof container containing these items to descend to the lake's depths with the objective to ascertain if the favorable effects observed in the wine can be replicated with other comestibles.

The organoleptic characteristics of Caligola unfolds with each sip, revealing a ruby red color with purple reflections. The nose opens with aromas of ripe red berries, including sour cherries, blackberries and red plums, accented with dried violets and spices while on the mouth, it unfolds with a good structure with fruit-forward flavors. The wine is at the peak of its youth and has an evolutionary potential. Enjoy this with roasted meat, pasta with red meat sauce, semi-aged and aged cheese.

Tenuta Monte Due Torri

Address: Via Montegiove Nuovo 77, 00045 Genzano di Roma (RM), Italy