A wine tour in Italy: Sperlonga’s fortunes

A wine tour in Italy is always an amazing experience.

Everywhere you go you find history, culture, delicious food, stunning views and nice people.
Sperlonga, an easy ride from Rome, is one of these tiny places that has all that.
In addition to beautiful beaches and crystal clear water.

But there are three factors that made the fortune of Sperlonga town so long ago.

Wiliam Murray (1926-2005), an american writer of mystery novels who worked at The New Yorker for 30 years, probably visited Sperlonga during the 50s, when the people here still didn’t know that in few years tourism would have exploded.

In his book “The Last Italian” he tells us that:

“An amateur historian named Monsignor Nicola Ferraro speculated in a treatise he wrote in 1937 that Sperlonga owed its existence to three basic facts.

The first, and perhaps most important of these, was the manufacture of a celebrated local white wine the Romans called Cecubo, much favored by the legions tramping back and forth between the capital and the Emperor Tiberius’ sumptuous villa.

The second fact was the presence of this villa itself, with its many outlying buildings, all within easy reach of the grotto, which had been known to the ancient Greeks.

The third and most enduring fact was the opening of the Via Flacca, named after the Roman official, Lucio Valerio Flacco, who built it during the emperor’s reign. Traces of this road are still visible. It was about twelve feet wide and skirted the coast between Terracina and Gaeta, passing above both the Emperor’s villa and the cave”.

So the Cecubo wine, the building of great villas by the roman aristocratic people and Emperors and the birth of the via Flacca in 184 B.C. were the three basic facts that made the fortune of Sperlonga belonging to Murray.

You can still taste the delicious Cecubo wine in one of the wineries near Sperlonga, visit the Tiberius’Villa and walk on the ancient via Flacca.

Read more about Cecubo wine here.

Come and discover all the Sperlonga’s beauty and culture.
Make your wine tour in Italy special.

Where is Sperlonga? See Sperlonga map and How to get to Sperlonga

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Cecubo, discover the old wine of the Romans

What about Cecubo, the wine of the old Romans? And how the Monti Cecubi winery was born?

The Cecubo is one of the wines that you’ll taste during your ancient Roman wine tour experience.
So let’s learn something about it!

The historian Strabone said it was “excellent and substantial”.
The Greek physician Galeno decribed it as “pleasant, of good tone, of strong food substance, excellent for the intelligence and for the stomach.”

The Cecubo was considered one of the most delicious wines in the Roman age. It was in fact reserved for the last toast in the banquets.
The Cecubo represents the identity of a country, around Sperlonga.
The Emperor Tiberius himself (and his mother Livia) owned vineyards near their holiday’s villa. And they used to grow up the grapes of that so well-known Roman wine.

We believe that “Cecubo” derives from caecus (blind), joined to bibere (to drink) and that these words were fused together to name “the wine of the blind one”, Appio Claudio Cieco (i.e Blind), who was the builder of the Via Appia, through the hills of the Monti Cecubi.

Right on those hills, facing the sea near Sperlonga, the Monti Cecubi winery was born, managed by the Schettino’s. They bought an ancient farm at the end of the ’90s and were determined to take the oenology back in those lands .
The job started from a small vineyard next to the farm. The oenologist could identify some local varieties like the Abbuoto, and planted some more common vinegrapes like the Vermentino, the Fiano, the Falanghina, the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Aglianico.

Monti Cecubi vineyards covers now around 100 hectares among Itri, Fondi and Sperlonga.
The soil composition, the exposure, the influence of the sea, the strong temperature variation between day and night, allows Monti Cecubi to produce intense, fresh and longlasting wines, as pure expression of this country.
The recipe mixes the ancient tradition with modern technology, a limited production and organic farming.

So let’s make the experience: come discover Cecubo, the Roman wine!

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