Introduction

By Paul Caputo

Campania on the western coast of southern Italy is home to a wealth of gastronomic delicacies. The birthplace of Pizza and Calzone, the region is renown for its Buffalo Mozzarella and Neapolitan pastries. Crucially though, Campania boasts several wines of international reputation placing it firmly and proudly on the Italian wine map.

Despite producing a number of reds, it is in fact the white wines which have come to shape the region’s vinous identity. Four white varieties dominate; Fiano, Greco, Falanghina and Coda di Volpe all of which contribute to make a multitude of wines that seek to express the terroir of Campania.

Fiano di Avellino, which carries the DOCG status, is made with the Fiano grape, grown as you might expect, around the town of Avellino. An indigenous grape to Campania, its quality has inspired plantings in both Sicily and Australia and while the area under vine remains small production is on the rise. The traditional Fiano is a wine of intense aroma, with wonderful perfumes of tropical fruit and honey. With age it will take on tertiary aromas of roasted nuts, spice and smoke. There are very few Fiano’s to be found at entry level prices, mainly because the grape is low yielding, but consequently the wine has a good concentration of flavour and with early ripening in that part of the world, Fiano can often have a good deal of weight and a hefty punch of alcohol. Nevertheless Fiano di Avellino is a wine of premium quality and perhaps the star of Campania’s wine portfolio.

Appellations of Campania

Benevento IGP

Sometimes referred to as Beneventano, this is a catch all appellation for wines made in the province of Benevento.

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Campania IGP

IGP Campania is a regional appellation for winemaking across the entire territory of Campania. In recent years it has facilitated experimentation with a number of different grape varieties, many of which have been brought back from the edge of extinction through the collaborative efforts of both wineries and universities.

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Campi Flegrei DOC

Campi Flegrei DOC is a small wine growing area in Campania capable of producing interesting, mineral wines.

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Catalanesca del Monte Somma IGP

Catalanesca del Monte Somma IGP is an increasingly popular appellation for wineries cultivating the little known Catalanesca grape. Many of these un-grafted vines are planted around Monte Somma in Campania.

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