The cultivation of grapes in northern Lazio began with the Etruscans and is first documented in a fourth-century BC tomb in the necropolis of Molesino. You see one Faliscan ‘stamnos’ with red figures representing Dionysus and Oinopion, i.e. a rounded vase with two handles, with which they brought the wine to serve to the guests at the table with a long bronze ladle.
Some writings of Pliny describe with greater detail the cultivation of grapes and production of wine that the Romans stimulated and developed.
At Gravisca (ancient port of Tarquinia) and Statonia (in the territory of Vulci) in 540-530 BC wine production was sufficient for local consumption and it was sold in other countries as proven by the discovery of the wreck of an Etruscan ship dated sixth-century BC in the sea in front of Marseille.
The Roman writer Martial describes the Cerveteri wine, ‘Caeretanus’ as good and with a flavour that resembled old Setino and of good quality. Columella instead celebrates the ancient Cere for its exquisite wine.
After the Middle Ages, before the abbeys and then the Papal States resumed, the production of wine was further promoted. The Statutes of the city of Civitavecchia 1451 contained 20 chapters that regulated the production and trade of wine. They described the harvest period, the penalties for damagers of vineyards and the measures that the Tavernari (tavern owners) had to use for selling.
In 1761, the Marquis Frangiapani in the book ‘Story of the ancient city of Civitavecchia’ describes some local vineyards.