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Falesco is a winery and vineyard established in Montefiascone, Italy in 1979. Falesco has been described as a "state-of-the-art winery"[1] and its production facilities are now located in Montecchio. It is a "family affair" run by Riccardo Cotarella, his brother Renzo and his daughter Dominga. Described as a "sprawling property" of 670 acres, some 370 acres of which are vineyards. Annual production is almost 3 million bottles.[2] The estate straddles the border of Lazio and Umbria, about 50 miles north of Rome.[3]

Riccardo Cotarella consults with dozens of Italian wineries, and has a reputation for excellence in vineyard operations, modern winemaking techniques and wine marketing. His greatest pride, though are the wines "made under the Falesco label from grapes grown in the family's vineyards in the Umbria and Lazio regions of central Italy."[4] Falesco's winemaker Cotarella has been called a "pioneer in the Italian wine industry" because of "his expertise is in every aspect of the business from growing techniques, to technological innovations, to winemaking to marketing." [5] Cotarella is assisted by winemaker Pier Paolo Chiasso.[6]

The wines[edit]

Falesco does not utilize heavily planted, traditional Italian grape varieties such as Canaiolo and Trebbiano in its higher-quality wines. Although these varieties produce excellent yields, the winery maintains that the quality of the wines made from those varieties are not great.[7] Breaking with Italian tradition, "they planted the best clones of Merlot available" to produce a wine they call "Montiano". Wine writer Lawrence Osborne has called Montiano a "globally significant wine." [6]

Next, they bought a large hillside vineyard south of Orvieto which is planted in Cabernet Sauvignon. From these vines, they produce their wine called "Marciliano".[1]

The winery also produces a distinctive local white wine called Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone. [8] This wine is "composed of 60 percent Trebbiano 30 percent Malvasia and 10 percent Roscetto",[9] and is considered a "generic Umbrian cheap white known around the world."[6]

They sell a white wine made from the roscetto grape is called "Ferentano".[10]

Another of their offerings is a sweet wine called Aleatico di Gradoli.[6]

Falesco has two product lines based on terroir. The “Latium line” comprises wines from Montefiascone in the Viterbo province in Latium, and the “Umbria line” comprises wines produced in the Montecchio and Orvieto area.


  1. ^ a b Parker, Robert M. (2005). The world's greatest wine estates: a modern perspective. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-3771-0. 
  2. ^ Parker, Robert (April 2009). The Wine Advocate.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  3. ^ "Falesco, "Vitiano," Lazio, 2001". Washington Times. Washington, DC. October 30, 2002. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Linda (August 25, 2005). "The Chronicle's best budget brands: Falesco". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco. 
  5. ^ "Winemaker is highlight of special dinner". Providence Journal. October 18, 2006. 
  6. ^ a b c d Osborne, Lawrence (2005). The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through the Wine World. Macmillan. pp. 240–242. ISBN 978-0-86547-712-4. 
  7. ^ Hyland, Tom (August 29, 2001). "High-flying winemaker retools Italian traditions". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  8. ^ Maureen, Fant (December 28, 1997). "CHOICE TABLES; North of Rome, Natural Delights". New York Times. New York. 
  9. ^ Werne, Tiffany (August 5, 2005). "Rebel, Rebel". Memphis Flyer. Memphis, Tennessee. Retrieved March 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ Ramirez, Lisa (August 5, 2007). "Tastings: The 'other' Italian whites". Times Herald-Record. Middletown, New York. 

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