Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France


Campania: the star of the South?

2017 update

Volcanic vineyards areas in Campania around Naples: 

Visits of 2009

While every region of Italy produces both everyday drinking and at least some great wine, some regions have claims at least to be considered first.  Among these are, in the north, Piemonte, in central Italy Tuscany and in the south, Campania.  The last named’s claims to fame are multiple:

  • an unbroken tradition of vine growing and winemaking back to Roman times and long before. After the Greek colonists founded cities from the eighth century before Christ onwards, the area came to be known as ‘wine land’, Enotria
  • one great red grape variety, Aglianico, which produces the long-lived wine Taurasi, and, perhaps surprisingly, three great whites – Falanghina, Greco di Tufo and Fiano
  • many indigenous grape varieties, in addition to the four already named – Biancolella or Piedirosso anyone?
  • some breathtaking scenery – not strictly a vinous reason but it puts you in the mood!

In autumn 2009, Janet and I spent a wonderful week in this varied region.  Here are some of the key places that we visited, with updated tasting notes:

  • Arriving and doing what the locals do, simple eating and drinking!  Read more: Campania 1
  • The spectacular Amalfi coast with our bed&breakfast clinging to a rock above the sea, the wonderfully named village of Furore, the highly individual wines of Marisa Cuomo. And then round the coast near Salerno, a top winery, Montevetrano doing it Campanian version of claret …  read more: Campania 2
  • The Cilento national park, the magnificent temples at Paestum and the jazz-loving de Conciliis family making great wine in conventional and unconventional styles …  Read more: Campania 3
  • Mastroberardino, for generations the standard-bearer of Campanian winemaking, now planting the vineyard at Pompeii and launching new wines.  Read more: Campania 4
  • slow-maturing Taurasi in its barrels at Salvatore Molletieri … and a ride home.  Read more: Campania 5
  • actual winemaking, rare varieties and early and late picked Aglianico at Contrade di Taurasi. Read more: Campania 6
  • Another fine lunch, a waiter’s recommendation, beautiful labels reflecting the region’s ever-present classical past and fine wine at Di Prisco.  Read more: Campania 7
  • the king of the Fiano grape at home at the Villa Diamante.  Read more: Campania 8
  • a Brummie accent at dinner in Taurasi and the launch of a new name, Filadoro. Read more: Campania 9
  • and just to prove these wines taste just as good at home, a tasting of Campanian wines, whites and reds, available in England, with some older vintages.  Read more:  Campania in the glass in England

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