The white grapes of Southern Italy

A few weeks ago I focused on the white grapes of Northern Italy so this week I’m looking to the South. I’ve written about Puglia, Sicily, and even Calabria frequently but much less about Basilicata and Campania, both small wine regions but not to be dismissed.

The best wine is from the volcanic soils in the region, Mount Vesuvius has its own Vesuvio DOC but the most interesting vineyards are a little further inland — fragrant Fiano and Falanghina, perfumed textured Greco di Tufo and densely flavoured Aglianico from Taurasi and Taburno. Across the region, many vines remain ungrafted, phylloxera being unable to survive in sandy volcanic soils.

One of the best producers in Campania is Feudi di San Gregorio. Antonio Capaldo from the estate visited Dublin in August to introduce their wines which have new distribution with Cassidys. Founded in 1986 and with a modern winery built in 2004, the wines are a joy to drink. Rightly they focus on the historic grapes in the region, all of which are ancient in origin and featured in the daily diet of Roman soldiers.

Greco di Tufo is a finer clone of Greco Bianco which is found elsewhere in the South and is one of my favourite Italian white wines — perfumed and concentrated with a lively mineral stony streak. Capaldi considers Greco to be more masculine in character and Fiano to be more feminine thanks to its high sugar content and the fact it is rich in primary flavours and floral and fruity notes. Falanghina is also aromatic with…

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