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English News Giovedi 22 Settembre 2022

Casale del Giglio: wines made to last from the Agro Pontino

Casale del Giglio successfully tests agronomic and oenological methods to ensure the longevity and elegance of its products.

di Claudia Meo

Casale del Giglio is 180 hectares of vines in the Lazio region, 1,700,000 bottles produced, 25 labels, and a distinguished book of awards that has propelled Agro Pontino's wines to national and worldwide prominence throughout the years. These outcomes were made possible by the vision of Dino Santarelli and his son Antonio. At the helm of the company today, there is the professional support of Paolo Tiefenthaler, an oenologist historically linked to the property, and a company team of great experience and professional value.

From an oenological standpoint, Casale del Giglio's history may be expressed in three major phases, each of which is a representation of the strategic goals of the historical moment that the firm has gone through, in terms of corporate size and reputation. Paolo Tiefenthaler tells us about it: origins in Val di Cembra, extensive knowledge of terroirs and the globe, and an intimate connection to the area of Le Ferriere. The company conducted a large-scale experimentation program between the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s with the goal of determining how about sixty different grape varieties would react to the terroir of Agro Pontino. This scientific approach served as a logical prelude to all subsequent company initiatives and significantly advanced the state of the art of viticulture in the region.

After capitalizing on this priceless knowledge base and determining which vines have the potential to "work" better in this region, a new, more distinctly enological phase has emerged. Here, building on the winemaking methods currently in use around the globe, the scientific approach to adapting these methods to the pedoclimatic characteristics of the location and the brand identity of the company is modeled.
Today, Casale del Giglio has entered an exciting new phase with the goal of "leaving a mark" by ensuring that the wines, each of them according to their own ampelographic declination, express sensory profiles meant to last over time. This has been made possible thanks to an entrepreneurial history that has received the expected recognition. Agronomic research is first and foremost driven by longevity: gradual fruit ripening, ensured by the lushness of the vegetation, limited and targeted exfoliation, and irrigation restricted to the blooming stage.

The past corporate "phases" have taught us that scents that linger longer do not result from haste, but rather from an agronomic and oenological approach tailored to the single harvest: at the core, there is the isolation of the "matrix" of each year and the subsequent scientific road to follow. Today, the challenge is increasingly influenced by the constraints imposed by climate change, which modifies production practices; but, even before that, climate change profoundly modifies the raw material: a less crunchy, softer fruit, which requires foliar protection in the vineyard; and, in the cellar, less racking to maintain CO2, and more moderate macerations on the skins in comparison to the past.

Casale del Giglio works with various grape varieties with the goal of valuing the most distinguishing characteristics of each grape variety, from the fine tannin of Petit Verdot to the fragrant freshness of Bellone; from the intriguing and refined red fruit of Shiraz to the citrus notes and minerality of Biancolella di Ponza; Casale del Giglio is always on the lookout for elegance. Radix 2016, Bellone in purity, has already won over wine reviewers and is now firmly positioned in the top list of Italian white wines, placing sixth in the Milano Finanza Gentleman 2021 ranking, which includes honors from the greatest Italian guides.