photo © Louise Shapcott
Atina Cabernet DOC
The soil of the Val di Comino is also perfectly suited to viticulture and the production of a fine wine – Cabernet Atina DOC. Pasquale Visocchi, who created the Paper Factory or Cartiera in Atina, as well as being an Industrialist, he was also a notable agronomist. He visited the Paris World Exposition of 1867 and studied the writings of Grandvionnet and Guyot and the oenology school of Conegliano. He experimented by planting some French vines in the Val di Comino to find our which best suited the warm and dry climate of the valley. These included the red grape varieties of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Gamay, Merlot, Pino Noir, and the white grape varieties of Pino Blanc, Semillion e Rousanne. The experimental vineyard was established at the estate of “San Michele“. Before long the vineyards began to yield excellent results. The Pasquale Visocchi family planted more vines on their land in the areas of Atina, Gallinaro, Sant’Elia Fiumerapido and Chiusanuova.
The Winery of the Visocchi Brothers
The Stabilimento Enologico Fratelli Visocchi was founded in 1868, a cantina which housed vats, oak barrels, oenological machines and apparatus. At the height of the winery’s production, in the year 1868, the Visocchi brothers succeeded in transforming more than 4,600 quintals of grapes into wine. They produced some fine quality wines, which were then exported all over the world.
Today the old Visocchi cantina houses the restaurant named Le Cannardizie which is decorated with interesting winery relics of the family.
The Certification of Cabernet Atina DOC
In 1940, a descendant of the Visocchi family obtained a decree recognizing the status of this local wine. In 1954, he was given a Gold Medal from the Chamber of Commerce of Frosinone for the work carried out by the Visocchi family in the wine industry. In 1999 this Cabernet wine became certified with the designation of origin – Cabernet Atina DOC. In 2011 the production disciplinary for Atina DOC was modified with the inclusion of the vines of Atina Semillon. The vineyards of the Val di Comino have a unique microclimate. This area includes the municipalities of Atina, Gallinaro, Belmonte Castello, Picinisco, Sant’Elia Fiumerapido, Alvito, Villa Latina, San Donato Val di Comino, Vicalvi, Casalattico, Casalvieri, Settefrati.
The Cabernet Atina DOC is produced from a blend of Cabernet Franc grapes (minimum 85%) and Cabernet Sauvignon and it is matured in barrels of oak. The wine has an intense ruby red color, characterized by its high polyphenolic content and a great olfactory impact. It is a full bodied dry red wine, warm and velvety wine with the aroma of red berry fruits and herbaceous scents. Minimum total acidity: 5.0 g/l. It pairs well with traditional dishes such as pasta served with a meat sauce, on grilled red meats, cured meats, and mature cheeses.
List of Local Producers
Below is a alphabetical list (in alphabetical order) of the local producers of the wine Cabernet Atina DOC:
Azienda Agricola Guido, Antica Tenuta Palombo
Cantina Tullio, Casal Volante, Casale Caira, Cominium, La Ferriera
Masseria Barone, Nardelli, Oro di Montecassino, Poggio alla Meta
Terre di San Benedetto, Tenuta Petra Potens, Vini Lucci
The CantinAtina Festival
Each sunmer during the month of August Atina hosts a wonderful wine festival named CantinAtina, where you can sample the different types of locally produced Cabernet Atina Doc and sample typical local dishes.
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