Wines of Campania

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Written By Gilberto Mattei

The wines of Campania: DOC, DOCG and IGT wines from Campania

wines in Campania that have made history are particularly those between Mount Massico and the Volturno.

It was precisely in that area that the Falerna tribe settled in antiquity. In fact, the most characteristic wines in Campania today are Falerno rosso and Falerno bianco.

White wine grapes in Campania

The main grapes from which most wines in white Campania are derived are Bombino and white Asprinio, Biancolella, Coda di Volpe, Falanghina, Forastera, Greco and Guarnaccia. The white wines in Campania that derive from these grapes are Capri bianco, Fiano di Avellino, Ischia bianco, Greco di Tufo, and Vesuvio bianco.

Black wines in Campania

The best known black grape variety since ancient times in Campania is undoubtedly Aglianico, which is also widespread in other regions of southern Italy. Falerno wine derives from this prized grape, but also the other best known of Campania's wines: Taurasi.


Wine production in Campania

Since the post-war period, Campania's wines have had a marked revival on both the national and international markets, so much so that both red and white Falerno wines have been awarded the designation of origin. This is largely due to the reorganisation of vineyards, especially those on the coast, through terracing and the modernisation of plantings. The area of Campania used for vine cultivation can be estimated at around fifty thousand hectares.

Historical background

At the beginning of the 16th century, when he came down to Italy to claim rights over the kingdom of Naples, Louis XII of France thought he had to stay a long time in Campania and brought with him some Champagne vines that were planted in the Casertano area, specifically in the Aversa area. Test your luck at best online casino. The Frenchman's sights on the Neapolitan area soon fell on deaf ears, while the vines expressed a paper-white wine with emerald highlights, low in alcohol, acidulous and therefore immediately called Asprinio. In spite of its modesty, this wine is enjoyable both with fish and as a summer thirst-quencher.


Countryside white wines

Alongside the humble Asprinio, Campania produces prestigious whites (the vin di Capri, Lacrima Christi, Greco di Tufo, Piano di Avellino, Ischia, Furore Divina Costiera, Ravello) that are born from the blending of several grapes, with the preponderance of Greco, Fiano and Coda di volpe. The mingling of these grapes - albeit in varying proportions from time to time - gives rise to a play of aromas that at times focus on the aromatic scent of broom, at others on that of elderflower.

Vin di Capri enjoys wide fame in Italy and abroad. Its bottles 'are sold by the thousands, by the millions,' writes Gino Doria, 'between Manhattan and Spitzberg Capetown and Tierra del Fuego, in Alpine refuges and on cruise ships . . . And everyone wonders: how can such a small island produce and distribute such a flood of wine?'. Even if one believes the number of bottles and their geographical distribution to be a tad exaggerated, the disquiet promoted by the question remains. For the sake of objectivity, we must add that Sorrento white has the same organoleptic characteristics as Capri because the soil in both areas is the same; in fact, the island in the mists of time broke away from the Sorrento peninsula.


Lacrima Christi

Perhaps a little less famous than the Capri is the Lacrima Christi from the Vesuvian vineyards of Torre del Greco, Ottaviano and Ercolano. Fishy, straw-yellow, fragrance of broom and elderflower, twelve degrees, fresh, it gets better with age. To explain its singular name, people with a wild imagination have even created legends.

Once the vineyards of the aforementioned vesuvian stratum belonged to the Company of Jesus and produced excellent Aglianico. When buyers and consumers needed to give it a distinctive name, spontaneously or almost spontaneously the locution Lacrima Christi arose, Lacrima being the second Neapolitan name for Aglianico and Christi from the initials of the Society of Jesus.

The Aglianico grape is the platform, sometimes together with palombina, for many Campania reds: the Capri, Lacrima Christi, Ischia, Ravello, red type, Taurasi, Vitulano, Pannarano, Solopaca, Vesuvius, Gragnano, Giovi, Sele, Corbara, Partenio. The blend of the two grapes produces a softer wine and gives it a lovely hint of violets.

Very popular in Naples is Gragnano. 'Honest,' defines the aforementioned Daria, 'full-bodied, masculine, that sets fire to the veins without burning the digestive system, that makes one animated and singing, that when it falls on the tablecloth forms a true and thick stain, not a pale indefinable blotch'.


Comparison of old and modern

And here we come to Falerno, which in the days of ancient Rome won the praise of Cicero, Pliny, Strabo, Propertius and Horace. Today's Falerno comes from the triangle formed by Sessa Aurunca, Formia and Mondragone. Of the old man we know the qualifications of strong, indomitable, severe, nectarine, austere, firm attributed to him by people of the time. Of the present we know everything: the coppery hue, the dry taste veiled in chocolate, the perfume of violets, the alcohol content above thirteen percent.

It may happen to some readers to ask about Falerno and to be served a white wine; well, in the Italian wine collection there is also a white Falerno that is slightly sweet when young, dry when aged.

The wines of Campania are:

  • Lands of the Volturno
  • Falerno del Massico
  • Aglianico del Taburno
  • Taurasi
  • Fiano di Avellino
  • Greco di Tufo
  • Capri white
  • Taburno
  • Asprinio di Aversa
  • Campi Flegrei Piedirosso
  • Cilento Aglianico
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Galluccio
  • Guardiolo
  • Irpinia
  • Ischia
  • Penisola Sorrentina Sparkling
  • Sannio Coda di Volpe
  • Sant'Agata dei Goti
  • Solopaca
  • Vesuvio

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