The region of Campania is firmly on the tourist’s map, but curiously not on the wine lover’s map. Yet, Campania is a fascinating wine region. There are superb wines being produced here, with its Ancient Greek grape varietals to produce unique and little known blockbuster reds and fragrant and delicate whites. “Greco” (a white varietal) and “Aglianico” (“Hellenic”) both mean “Greek”. Pliny, the Roman historian, wrote about both of these grapes in his ancient encyclopedia.
Naples is the capital of the region, and is certainly one of the most interesting cities in Europe- at once chaotic and melancholic; degraded and beautiful. For food and wine lovers, it is a treat! Is there anything better than the sublime spaghetti and clams at La Bersagliera, served perfectly al dente with nothing more than a splash of good Olive Oil?
Principal wine towns in Campania include Tufo, Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, Ravello and Taurasi. Surprisingly, more than 60% of the production of wine (over 50,000 gallons per year) is white. Fragrant and delicate whites are made with the three “F´s- Fiano, Falanghina and Falerno- along with Greco di Tufo, another main white varietal.
The flagship red grape is Aglianico. Taurasi wines are the “crus” of the region, and should be aged at least 3 years before drinking. They are inky, dense wines made with the Aglianico grape, and are considered to be one of the best wine styles of Southern Italy. Feudi di San Gregorio’s Taurasi is considered to be one of the best reds made in the country.