The Wines of the Basilicata Region
This small region is a jewel of Italy still partially unknown, nestled between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas and with a mountainous hinterland made of forests and natural parks, scattered with fortresses erected on steep peaks, ancient Greek cities and hills sloping down towards crystalline bays caressed by the Mediterranean sun. The major mountains are the Volturino (2005 m) and Sirino (1835 m); among the rivers, mainly torrential, the most important are the Gravida, Bradano, Basento, Cavone, Agri, Sinni, to which must be added the Lakes of San Giuliano, Pietra del Petrusillo and Abate Atonia.
In the morphology of Basilicata, mountains and hills with predominantly limestone rocks predominate. The climate, due to the arrangement of the reliefs, presents continental rather than meridian features, especially in the areas of Potenza and Melfi.
Climate, Territory and Cultivation systems of the vine
The territory of Basilicata is mainly mountainous and hilly, and the climate, mainly continental with a Mediterranean character, is hot-dry in the coastal areas and in the internal areas of the Matera hills. The Metapontino area alternates seasons of mild and rainy winters with hot, dry and fairly windy summers, making them ideal for the production of white berried grapes including Greco and Malvasia, which give medium-structured wines with a great aromatic consistency .
The hilly area that leans towards the Materano, along the bradanica pit, is characterized by clayey and sandy areas with marine sediments, in which the Greco and Primitivo vines are grown, from which structured and highly olfactory complex wines are obtained. The valley floor of alluvial and marine origin is made up of very fertile and deep soils, ideal for the cultivation of Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon and Sangiovese vines. The Vulture area, located in the north-eastern part of the region, is particularly devoted to the cultivation of the Aglianico del Vulture from which the wine takes its name. The wine-growing area, located near the extinct volcano, is rich in potassium which gives the wines freshness, flavor and minerality; during the dry summers, the porosity of the tuff ensures an adequate supply of humidity to the vines, using the water accumulated in the winter months. The innermost Matera hill has more moderate Mediterranean characteristics even at 300 m, however the hot and dry summers, which cause strong temperature changes, favor the cultivation of Primitivo and Sangiovese vines.
The vines are mainly trained in Guyot and spurred cordon, but the historic cultivation in Alberello is still practiced in particularly impervious and difficult to work areas.