La Tuscia Viterbese refers to the area surrounding Viterbo where the Etruscans once reigned; today’s communities celebrate their regional DOC and IGT wines with Feste del Vino della Tuscia. They began in late July, but if you’re in the area you still have until the 16th of August to enjoy some of these interesting, and likely lesser known wines along with local fare in a festive atmosphere, al fresco.
The festivals take place in the towns named for the DOCs they celebrate. These wines are light, refreshing and flavorful, with whites vinified from varieties like Aleatico, Trebbiano, Malvasia (more than one type of each), the native Greco, Grechetto; red varieties that include Sangiovese, Montepulciano (the grape), and Ciliegiolo, among others.
Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone is a blend of three white grape varieties. It’s a light and refreshing, produced in a variety of versions from dry to sparkling (also dry). The name (Latin for “It is,” or perhaps Italian for “Ecco”) has a delightful history; worth translating at LaTuscia.com (in Italian).
Vignanello is a town and a DOC, produced in the area just east of it. There are four versions are Bianco (one or two Trebbiano varieties, and two different Malvasia), Greco (which is the variety), Rosso (Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, maybe more), and Rosato (same blend as the Rosso). You might also find the Greco in a sparkling version, and the Bianco superiore, or at a higher alcohol level due to a particularly mature vintage or other factors.
GRADOLI (only Friday, August 14)
This DOC zone Aleatico di Gradoli is located in the area just north of the Lago di Bolsena, and the wine is produced from the Aleatico grape. Don’t let the “dessert” category throw you however: though it’s not dry, its sweetness is balanced, fresh, and certainly worth trying.
You may also spot Tarquinia, Colli Etruschi Viterbesi (a larger DOC zone extending north and south of Viterbo), and even Orvieto, whose zone is shared with Umbria, not to mention IGTs (still regional with fewer restrictions than a DOC wine) such as Lazio, Colli Cimini, and Civitella d’Agliano.
The town festivals include tastings of both wines and local fare, music, wine carriage processions and even a neighborhood palio competition, this Monday night is the Calici di Stelle with tastings under San Lorenzo’s falling stars.
Most events take place in the evening, but also check with any of the tourist offices of the town nearest you for details, don’t to hesitate to call 334 284 2216.