November "Company of the Month" is "Le Vigne del Lazio" ("Latium Vineyards"), an association of wine producers established in Rome in 1999
to promote and improve quality wines made in the region.
In recent years, Latium wines finally found an enthusiastic supporter in Le Vigne del Lazio, an association whose only goal is to promote the quality wines produced in Latium. Chaired by Antonio Santarelli, the association forged an intense set of initiatives to promote the knowledge of the quality wines produced in the region. These include a wide range of varieties, including many excellent red wines from all of the region's provinces.
By statute, the association requires individual members to submit their wines to yearly analysis by the independent Commissione di Degustazione di Controllo (CDC, or Commission for Tasting and Control), thus driving the producers to maintain and improve the quality of their wines.
In addition, the association established a tight relationship with the Roman chapter of the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (AIS, or Italian Association of Sommeliers). This way, expert sommeliers join with the producers during the presentation of their wines at trade shows and tasting events all over Italy.
Purpose of the Association Le Vigne del Lazio
Among the main goals of the association is the expansion of the distribution and sale of quality wines produced in the Latium region to the restaurants and wine bars (Enoteca) of the country city capital, the Latium region, and the rest of Italy. In the four years of operation, the association has worked tirelessly to:
- Re-establish the concept of Latium produced quality wines;
- Spread the knowledge of the wide range of quality wines produced in the Latium provinces;
- Promote and popularize the pairing of traditional Roman and regional recipes with quality wines produced in the region, contributing substantially to restoring a territorial and regional enogastronomic identity;
- Create a standard of quality based on the results of the tests and analyses of the CDC which then limits the participation of promotional activities to wines that have garnerted at least 75 out of 100 poinits in the rigorous CDC evaluation system.
Le Vigne del Lazio Associates:
Currently Le Vigne del Lazio has 22 associates producers. This is an absolute first, as never before had such a qualified group of winemakers joined forces into a legal organization.
The work of the Association
Le Vigne del Lazio has accomplished great promotional feats through initiatives that focused the aim of the association and expanded the number of associates chosen from among the most qualified regional wine producers.
Between 1999 and 2001, the first few years of operation, the association followed a philosophy of small steps toward the creation of a detailed operating program that bloomed in the 2002-2003 period. These last two years, the association promoted grander initiatives that gave widespread exposure to its work and proposals, thanks also in part to the precious support provided by the Assessorato all'Agricoltura (Agricultural Council) of the Latium Region and the regional chapter of Coldiretti (the Union of Small Agricultural Owners).
In 2003, the Le Vigne del Lazio proved itself to be the emergent voice of Latium quality wines, promoting and participating in over 100 tasting events both in Italy and abroad.