La Sabina, a splendid area straddling the provinces of Rome and Rieti, is where some surprising wines can be found.
It is a territory prevailing in harsh though not very high mountains. The maximum altitude is that of Monte Navegna, in the Carseolani Mountains, at 1508 meters. The only large flat area of Sabina is the Rieti basin.
Magliano Sabina summarizes the whole spirit of Sabina but with the advantage that thanks to its position it is suitable for the cultivation of vines and olive groves.
It was born thousands of years ago as a port on the Tiber river and connected to Rome by the Via Flaminia, so Magliano was a commercial and cultural crossroads. Then with the arrival of the barbarians, the population moved to a hill, founding what is today the medieval centre, the ancient village.
Before telling about the amazing wines of Magliano Sabina, I would like to tell one of the most incredible stories that have happened in small Italian villages such as Magliano Sabina and that make the Italian spirit. The strange story of San Liberatore who became San Liberato and vice versa, which you can read HERE.
In the Middle Ages, in order to be a bishopric, a church had to have the relics of a bishop and when Pope Alexander VI Borgia had to pass through Magliano with his troops, the appointment of a bishopric in place of the nearby Vescovio forced them to run in search of a right relic.
A dispute began between towns that lasted centuries with many popes who have expressed their views and a ritual that sometimes concerned San Liberatore and sometimes San Liberato. You can learn more of the history in this link.
But let’s return to the vineyards and wine of the Cantina Sociale Vini dei Colli Sabini. The climate of Magliano is rather mild in the western part, open on the Tiber valley and exposed to the influence of the Tyrrhenian sea, while in the eastern part, it is higher and more rugged, with Apennine characteristics and abundant rains, considerable daytime temperature variations and harsh winters.
The vineyards of the society are located, for the most part, on the slopes above the Tiber river, where less fertile soils, the right exposure and optimal ventilation combine to ensure that the vine develops without any particular problems.
The company was founded in 1969 by the winemakers of the Magliano Sabina area and, 50 years later, it represents one of the most important cooperatives in the province of Rieti.
The Cantina Sociale Vini dei Colli Sabini has been focused from the beginning on the enhancement of the territory through its wines, and for some years it has begun a progressive restructuring of the vineyards of its members. For this reason, it has established relationships with professionals and has started a modernization of the oenological machinery so that it guarantees the winemaking protocols and enhances the characteristics of the local grapes.
The vines of the area are mainly local varieties such as Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Malvasia Puntinata and Grechetto which over the years have been joined by international vines, such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which have found a deserving acceptance in the warm climate of Sabina .
The wine production is constantly monitored, from the sprouting of the vine to the harvest, in order to be able to deliver healthy grapes to the cellar with the right degree of phenolic and technological ripeness.
The vinification of the grapes follows the same philosophy as the agronomic one, that is, the least possible interventions both in the fermentation phase and in the refinement and storage phase in order to fully enhance the Terroir of this magnificent area.
Always very active in the enhancement of the territory, the company in 1996 obtained recognition of the Colli della Sabina DOP production specification. The result of this commitment is the production of the “Cavalier Manlio” line, in honour of the founder of Magliano Sabina, in both the white and red DOP COLLI DELLA SABINA versions.
Here are some characteristics of this red wine of about 13 degrees, with an intense ruby colour and an optimal balance of spicy (pepper) and fruity (cherry) hints. A wine with excellent structure, with soft and never aggressive tannins, soft on the palate thanks to the good presence of glycerin and a long and persistent finish. It is produced with 40% Sangiovese, 30% Montepulciano and 30% Merlot grapes and is a perfect accompaniment for game, sheep’s cheese and spicy cured meats such as those of this area.
For white wine we recommend a Cavalier Manlio Bianco with 50% Malvasia del
Lazio, 40% Trebbiano and 10% Grechetto grapes.
A straw yellow wine with an intense aroma of white-fleshed fruits (apple) and a round, vinous and fresh flavour.
And don’t forget the famous Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Sabina DOP!