Vinea Domini


The Winery

Long before Rome was built, people settled in what is today known as Castelli Romani (trans: "Roman Castles"), or the hills just south of the current-day Italian capitol. With its higher elevation and commanding vistas of both sea and the surrounding flatlands, this area was safer and more easily defended. Not to mention, its prehistoric, volcanic soils were (and remain) extremely fertile. Nowadays, in addition to the vineyards and farms spread across some 14 towns, scores of wealthy Romans have summer homes in the Roma DOC, with a pair of lakes affording respite from the seasonal heat. Everywhere, olive groves, citrus trees, palms, and Lazio's iconic stone pines (with their "horizontal" canopies) meet the eye, creating a lush and beautiful, pastoral landscape.

In the heart of this zone and in the wake of WWII, the Grotto d'Oro Cooperative Society was founded - initially operating out of a destroyed building and uniting 41 farmers in the town of Marino. Nearly 80 years later, the group consists of 150 growers and encompasses roughly a thousand hectares of vines. While they admittedly produce larger quantities of certain affordables which remain very popular in Rome, the co-op recently (2017) created a new line, Vinea Domini, designed to feature quality over quantity and shine a spotlight on native varieties such as Cesanese and Malvasia Putinata. For this project, 15 farmers and 75 hectares were singled out for quality, with a smaller subset contributing grapes to each wine. A separate enologist, Paolo Piera, was also brought on board at that time to oversee operations for Vinea Domini. A native of Lazio, Paolo studied enology in Bordeaux, then returned to his home region to consult. Well-known in Italy as a lecturer for the Federatin of Italian Sommeliers (FISAR), his overall style is one of fresh, clean wines which put the emphasis squarely on the fruit - more than appropriate for the warm, maritime climes and vines of Castelli Romani!

Paolo Piera
Grapes Grown by Winery
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cesanese, Chardonnay, Malvasia Puntinata, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Sauvignon (Blanc), Syrah
Vineyard Size
75.0 ha
Paolo Piera
Winemaker Biography
Situated in the town of Marino, in the heart of the lush and rolling hills of Castell Romani just south of Rome, the Grotto d'Oro co-operative has created a line of fine wines known as Vinea Domini. Sustainably farmed in volcanic soils, they are designed not for the scores of tourists who visit the capitol every year, but instead "for the Roman people", true reflections of their place and time.
Winemaker Generation
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