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The central Italian wine region of Lazio is widely regarded as one of the oldest wine regions on earth. The origins of the viticulture in this special part of Italy, which includes the capital city of Rome, is shrouded in myth and legend, although it seems likely that the Etruscans were the first people to cultivate the native vines which thrive there. The Romans stepped things up a notch, and wines produced in Roman Lazio were exported across the empire and celebrated for their finesse and character, but upon the collapse of this mighty civilization, Lazio wines almost disappeared forever. The viticultural practises of Lazio weren’t resurrected until the late 19th century, when Italy was unified, and it continues to be an important Old World wines region to this day.
Lazio benefits from a range of microclimates, which are influenced greatly by the proximity to the coast - bringing cooling sea breezes over the vineyards which would otherwise be roasted by the scorching midsummer heat. The mountains in the northeast of the region bring more variety, and as such, an enormous range of wines are produced across Lazio. The main grape varietals there are Nebbiolo and Malvasia di Candia, although red wines made from Sangiovese and Montepulciano grapes are certainly on the rise and have been gaining plenty of praise in recent years.