Where do people lucky enough to call the eternal city their home do their weekends? Frascati.
About an hour’s train ride out of Rome is a countryside village known for its summers and wine. So much so, in fact, that the local mascot is Mrs. Frascati: a woman endowed with an extra breast full of the white wine the region is known for. (Did I mention the villagers have a excellent sense of humor?)
I decided to get out of the busyness of the Rome and day trip like a Roman on holiday with The Old Frascati Farmhouse Wine Tour. Our hostess Dominique Minardi met us at the train station and began a tour of the picture perfect little Italian village that is a former Papal getaway. We climbed the steps of the local church which survived WWII bombings and is home to a Vatican recognized miracle. We were welcomed like friends of the family at the local bakery and delicatessen where the 90 year old nonna of the family still makes her famous wine cookies fresh every day and the porchetta slow roasted pork is a life changer. Then we sampled the traditional local white wine in a small tavern before heading to the vineyard.
The Minardi family’s home and vineyard is scenic and perfectly rustic. It got even better as the head of the household, Umberto came out to greet us and demonstrate the process his family has used to made wine for generations. He’s as legit as it gets as he totes hundred year old tools and speaks to us in Italian translated by his daughter-in-law.
Our whirlwind wine education ended with us gathered around a farmhouse table learning how to taste wine and dipping fresh bread in the farm’s house olive oil. Outside, rain began to sprinkle the dormant grape vines and olive trees. We wrapped the day up in a local trattoria with two bottles of wine from the vineyard to accompany the best pasta I’ve ever had. The whole experience was so traditional and family oriented it felt like the real Italian Italy of movies and romance novels.