There are some wonderful wine bars in Rome, but nothing quite compares to raising a glass in the vineyard where it was produced.
Luckily, Lazio’s reputation for quality vino is slowly improving and it is more than possible to escape the city for an afternoon at a winery.
One of the best day trips from Rome for wine tasting is to aim in the direction of Frascati.
Not far from the town (which is charming and full of lunch options itself) is the Merumalia winery.
The family-run winery is so close to Rome that you can see the edge of the suburbs from their beautiful terrace. However, most of the view is taking up with rolling green hills and vineyards as far as the eye can see.
When I visited a few weeks ago, the vendemmi (harvest) was going strong.
For many years, the Fusco family grew grapes and sold the harvest to other wine makers. When they decided to create their own label, the family went through the time consuming process of certifying all their vineyards as 100% organic.
The harvest is done by hand, and Giulia Fusco explained to us that Merumalia still hires mainly women to help with the vendemmia because the Frascati area has a long tradition of women leading the grape harvest.
The winery grows several varieties of DOC grapes including Lazio Malvasia, Greco Bianco and Bombino.
(Frascati, it should be noted, is best known for its white wines).
After taking a tour of the vines and hearing more about the varietals, it was time to sit down and taste the production.
In keeping with the dedication to organic products, even the winery itself has been designed using fully sustainable methods and materials.
However, since the weather was so nice, we sat on the terrace outside.
As Giulia took us through a flight, she explained what notes to look for and described the unique characteristics of each bottle.
We were even lucky enough to sample Merumalia’s olive oil.
All of this was paired with local products – to round out a pretty ideal afternoon in the country.
So how can you plan a wine tasting day trip from Rome yourself? The tour and tasting can be booked through Airbnb experiences (where you can read more great reviews). For less than €40? It is a steal too!