My name is Gabrielle Gaffino. My grandfather Federico was born in Glasgow into a family of peasant Italian emigrants. He returned to Italy to go to college, then he began working in a bank and soon became a successful stockbroker. He was then living in Rome and decided to invest in a vineyard near Rome, which had welcomed him first as a boy and then as a man, husband and father. He bought an estate in Ardea named Col di Bacco, where we still are located, thus giving life to his dream to “touch the soil” and work the land like his parents had before him. Viticulture became an obsession due to his love for the land and its fruits, and he passed that to my father Giuseppe.
While I was exposed to the land and wines my entire life, I chose to focus my academic and professional career at the world of marketing, wih a particular focus on visual communication. After almost 15 years of working in that world, I realized that I was was simply accumulating and not building something lasting or fulfilling. So I took some time to question myself about what my real expectations and passions were. The answer came almost natural and spontaneously: I wanted to make wine! Therefore I began studying the fascinating process of making wine in order to build something for the future. I invested everything that I had…luckily I have been fully supported by my wife and family. Now I work for myself and my family...for each decision we make, we consider the long-term.
Cantina Gaffino is rooted in the province of Lazio, very near to Rome, in a land extremely well-suited to wine production and possessing a legendary winemaking history that is over two thousand years old. Having grown up here, we are products of this land ourselves-in fact we are intertwined with it. We work the land by hand, and while tradition is important to us, we also look to contemporary practices if these can help us make higher quality wines. We are strictly focused on quality wines which are an expression of the passion that our family has dedicated to this land for almost sixty years.
We are an estate winery-we only use our own grapes to produce our wines because we won’t be able to control quality otherwise. You will find our name on our bottle...this is because we profoundly believe in what we do, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
For us, each wine tells a story. They are the stories of each vintage and of the people of this land who dedicate themselves to it every day, Therefore it is a story of the past, present and of the future all at once. We hope you enjoy our stories.
Two millennia of quality viticulture and a history of much sought-after wines (at least throughout antiquity and medieval times) attest to the level of quality of wines that was once the norm in Lazio. In ancient Rome, dozens of different wines were sold (many made in the immediate surroundings of Rome), wine bars were popular, and wine tasters – the haustores – were held in great esteem. Horace, Martial, Petronius and other famous authors wrote and argued about wines, much as is the case today, and Pliny, the consummate cataloguer, even ranked what he thought were the best...
But today the scenario is no longer so bleak. In fact, some of Lazio’s wines already rank among Italy’s least-known but best examples. You might say that we now find ourselves on the brink of rediscovering the true greatness of wines that were once much sought after by the denizens of ancient Rome and throughout the Roman Empire.
CERTIFIED ORGANIC BY ICEA
Our home is located a few kilometers south of Rome, and we have a total of 32 hectares, of which 28 are vineyards. My grandfather Federico farmed primarily Malvasia and Trebbiano, typical grapes which existed on the estate. My father Giuseppe planted Syrah, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon as experiments, and I planted Cesanese, Viognier, Malvasia Puntinata and Trebbiano Verde. We increased density of the vines with planting, so we went from 2500 plants/ha, to a range of from 5200-6300 plants/ha.
We are lucky to have all the things required by a vine to guarantee healthy and balanced growth: geographic position overlooking the sea, volcanic soils, the right exposure and an altitude near the sea level. We are fortunate to enjoy pedoclimatic conditions that allow us to produce wines of excellent quality, with intensity, freshness and good structure. Being located between a volcano (Albano) and the sea (Tirreno), we have soils with an interesting mixture: clayey and volcanic, very rich in minerals. This, combined with the winds coming from the sea just a few kilometers from us, provide for ideal conditions for vine growing.