Wine for Normal People Radio — Ep 168: Campania, Italy

2000px-campania_in_italy-svg-2In the shin of Italy’s boot, Campania is the province south of Rome. The area encompasses the tourist areas of Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and some of the most unique, tastiest wines in the world. Want to know what regions & grapes are up & coming? Look no further.

Here are the show notes:

By the end of the show, we want to introduce you to the next hot grapes and the next hot areas to look out for in Italian wine

  • We talk history, geography, and climate — altitude and soil type is essential in determining flavor
    • Inland locations – more fragrant
    • Coast — more mellow and less fragrant


Grapes and Flavors: native all the way. Antonio Mastroberardino used tradition and innovation to revive the areacampania_winemap-2

  • White Grapes:
    • Fiano: Best native white grape variety.
      Fiano di Avelino, DOCG: pure fruit, honeyed, apple, orange blossom, hazelnut, minerality, acidity
    • Greco: As esteemed as Fiano.
      Greco di Tufo, DOCG: gritty, apricot (face scrub), earthy, herbal, ashy, flavors of lemons, pears, almonds, mineral finish, best young — full, softer but with acid, not hugely aromatic., Asprinio di Aversa, DOC: Asprinio is Greco: a dry white or zesty sparkling wine
    • Coda di Volpe Bianca (emerging grape!)Named for fox tail because of shape of the bunch (M.C. Ice was coda-di-volpe-e1398788258972wowed by how much it looks like a fox tail!). Mineral, stone fruit, Indian spice when stand alone.
      • Used to be just in blends, now varietal wines are improving – your first up and coming wine to seek out (answering initial question!)
      • Appellations for Coda: Sannio, Irpinia, Taburno, Avellino, Benevento and Vesuvio or Lacryma Christi (del Vesuvio) DOC: “the tears of Christ on Vesuvius” (emerging region!) 


  • Falanghina: Best known, most meh. Can have honeyed sweetness but usually acidic with mild floral notes. Backbone of Falerno del Massico and Galluccio wines.
  • Costa d’Amalfi: 60% white – Falanghina/Biancolella. Reds – Aglianico with Piedirosso and others
  • Campi Flegrei (meaning Phlegraean Fields): About 55% white (Falanghina with Biancolella and Coda)

Red Grapes:

  • Piedirosso (emerging grape)Fresh, aromatic, soft, acidic, red fruit, herbal. Can be like Gamay
    • Appellations for Piedirosso:
      • Lacryma Christi del Vesuvius blended with Sciascinoso (Olivella), with Aglianico.280px-vesuvius_from_pompeii_hires_version_2_scaled Smoky, mineral flavors. Can be spicy and fruity.
      • Camp Flegrei: Mostly Piedirosso, with Aglianico and/or Sciascinoso. Softer and fuller than Lacryma
  • Aglianico: dark colored, like chocolate, dark cherries, smoke, coffee, leather, earthy.  Acidic and tannic but mellows with time. Often blended with Piedirosso.
  • Appellations for Aglianico
    • Taurasi DOCG – S. Italy’s first DOCG an its best for reds
    • Aglianico del Taburno DOCG: 100% Aglianicoaglianico-2


Other top areas in Campania:

Irpinia DOC (White and red – all the best)

  • Encompasses best areas – Greco di Tufo, Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino
  • Greco, Fiano, Coda di Volpe, Falanghina, Aglianico plus Piedirosso


800px-sapri_sa_sea_frontCilento DOC (emerging region — poverty stricken area but wine is great): 

  • Rosso/Red: Mostly Aglianico, with Piedirosso some Primativo and Barbera
  • Rosato/Rosé: Same as red but Sangiovese lead instead of Aglianico
  • Bianco/White: 60%+ Fiano (called Santa Sofia) with Trebbiano, Greco Bianco, Malvasia Bianca


Sannio DOC (emerging region)

  • Grapes have to be from hillside vineyards to be part of DOC
    • Sanrio Bianco: At least 50% Greco, with Trebbiano Coda di Volpe, Falanghina, Fiano and Moscato making up the rest
    • Reds of Aglianico
    • Key sub-regions: Sannio Guardia Sanfranmondi-Guardiolo, Sannio Solopaca, Sannio Sant’Agata dei Goti 


Campania IGT

  • Region-wide IGT: Grown and made in Campania – quality depends on producer
  • Only about 4% of Campania’s total wine output is DOCG/DOC
  • Mostly Aglianico and Falanghina – 75% of IGT wines, some Greco Bianco and Fiano

Recent Vintages: 2010 the best in a while. 2012 pretty good.

Lots of information here but there are a lot of names that may have been hard to catch on the podcast. I hope this helps! Now go explore!