Cesanese Group | This comprises two distinct native Italian red wine grape varieties, Cesanese Comune and Cesanese d’Affile. Each has its own entry in Italy’s National Registry. A third recently discovered member is called Cesanese di Castelfranco. The name derives from a small town outside of Rome called Cesano.

Wine characteristics | Deep crimson colour. Exuberant red fruit with red rose, cinnamon, white pepper. Low tannins, so potentially populist.

Wines | Lazio: Cesanese is used in three important wines in Lazio—Cesanese del Piglio or Piglio DOCG, Cesanese di Olevano Romano or Olevano Romano DOC and Cesanese d’Affile or Affile DOC—all three appending the names of towns around which the wines are made. Other DOCs in Lazio using Cesanese are Velletri and Cori.

Wine styles | Almost exclusively dry, still reds now. Historically air-dried sweet wines (‘passitos’).


See Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014).

Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p.91-2.