Lazio, Italy

La Visciola is rooted in Piglio, a tiny, hidden gem town located in southern Lazio. Comprising just four hectares, this small family estate truly embodies what it means to make artisanal garagiste wines. Operated by Piero Macciocca, along with his wife Rosa and daughter Cecilia, the family has implemented biodynamic farming at their property since 2005, though the vines have been tended organically for over six decades.

All of La Visciola vines are planted to Cesanese, an ancient red grape variety native to the Lazio region. 2008 marked the estate’s inaugural release, with production hovering around the same size ever since (less than 5,000 bottles annually). In the vineyards, polyculture is encouraged, with countless legumes, fruit trees, and other plants dotting the rows between vines. Here, soils are predominantly red clay, and the climate hovers somewhere between continental and Mediterranean.

In the cellar, Piero takes a very precise approach to vinification. He processes much of his Cesanese as single-site wines, similar to the approach taken in Barolo or Burgundy. All wines are vinified in a combination of concrete and neutral oak, with most seeing at least one year of aging before bottling. Very low levels of sulfur are added. Although Cesanese is frequently lost in the shadows of more popular grape varieties, such as Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, fans of these popular varieties promise to be captivated by Cesane’s lifted aromatics and incredible depth of flavor. As prices for wines from more popular appellations continue to (astronomically) rise, it’s regions like Piglio—and winemakers like Pietro—that continue to capture our attention.