Wines of the Campania Region
Campania intoxicates the visitor with the scents of the Mediterranean released by pine, orange and lemon groves. The cliffs overlooking the sea, the golden beaches, the clear sea; the same millennial charm that has conquered the mythical heroes, Greece, the Romans and the imagination of the whole world. Privileged by a mild climate and by the fertility of the soil, the region is characterized by mostly hilly territory, with mountainous areas bordering Basilicata and Molise. Vesuvius, among the few volcanoes still active in Europe, the Gulfs of Naples and Salerno, separated from the Sorrento peninsula, and the islands of Ischia, Capri and Procida offer landscapes of rare beauty.
Campania is distinguished by an ancient winemaking tradition, so much so that Campania wine was already famous at the time of ancient Rome: Falerno was particularly famous, today relaunched in a modern version (vinified in white with Falanghina base and in red with Aglianico base or Primitivo) by some local producers from Caserta, on the hills of Mondragone and Sessa Aurunca.
In Campania, 5 macrozones can be distinguished: the Casertano, the Naples area and the splendid islands of Capri and Ischia, Irpinia, the Beneventano - in terms of production, the most important wine-growing area in the region - and Cilento, located in the borders with Calabria. As soon as it crosses the Lazio border, the province of Caserta is known for the Aversa DOC denomination, whose Aprinio wine, delicate and fresh par excellence - but above all for the Falerno del Massico DOC, produced in a small coastal strip between Mondragone and Sessa Aurunca , where mainly Aglianico, Primitivo and Falanghina are grown. Rosso is mainly produced by Aglianico and Primitivo, which lead to more austere wines in the first case, softer in the second.
In the last decade the interest for Alto Casertano - in the surroundings of Caiazzo - is growing thanks to the Casavecchia pearls and the two Pallagrello Bianco, much appreciated for the remarkable citrus notes, for the good structure and the enveloping softness, and the Pallagrello Nero from whose grapes complex red and rosé wines are obtained, recognizable in structure and power. In the Naples area very different wine-growing realities coexist. In the siliceous sands of the Campi Flegrei denomination, only Falanghina and Piedirosso are grown, from which wines of moderate structure are obtained, fresh and fragrant. In the limestone vineyards of Capri, Falanghina has a medium structure, while on the slopes of Vesuvius and Ischia, the Piedirosso is richer and more complex, suitable for accompanying sage meat rolls. The Rosso of the sub-denomination Lacryma Christi is the fruit of the blend between Aglianico and Piedirosso and expresses a strong alcoholic note, as well as hints of violet and cherry.
Climate, Territory and Cultivation systems of the vine
The climate of Campania is characterized by the morphology of the territory, consisting of mountain areas in which the Apennines extend, and marine areas. The climate in the coastal strip is mild, dry and windy, while in the Apennine area it is continental, characterized by harsh winters that give rise to strong temperature variations between day and night, even in the height of summer, which however are decisive for to obtain a superior quality of Irpinia white wines.
As far as the land is concerned, a more complex situation is noted as the intense volcanic activity in the marine area has led to the formation of magmatic soils, which vary from the sands of the Phlegraean Fields, where the plants are all "at the foot". frank ", to the green tuff of Ischia or to the Lave del Vesuvio; these dark and crumbly soils are rich in potassium, a chemical component that favors the formation of sugars in the grape veraison phase. In the Apennine ridge, west of Campania, the soils are loose and rich in limestone, with marl and clay on the surface. The peculiarity of the Campania soils is mainly linked to the eruptions of Vesuvius, whose volcanic activity has dispersed considerable quantities of ash even at long distances, and sprinkled with a thick blanket of ash also limestone matrix soils, enriching them with mineral components. In these production areas, the cultivation of the Aglianico grape is ideal for obtaining wines with great structure and complexity.
The most common vine growing systems in Campania are Guyot and spurred cordon, and, to a lesser extent, ancient forms such as the Pergola and the Alberello. In the Aversa area, the system of Ancient Alberata Aversana, introduced by the Etruscans, is used for the cultivation of Asprinio, through which the vines climb on rows placed between two poplars, whose bunches can reach heights of up to 15 meters.