Amalfi coast (pic: Internet)
Hong Kong Italy Wine

Three must-know grapes from southern Italy

From “Nebbiolo of the South” to age-worthy Fiano, southern Italy’s Campania and Basilicata have more to offer than ancient ruins of mythical Pompeii and cerulean blue waters in Capri.

Aglianico

Aglianico is dubbed as "Nebbiolo of the South" (pic: Vino Joy News)
Aglianico is dubbed as “Nebbiolo of the South” (pic: Vino Joy News)

Aglianico is believed to one of the oldest varieties in Italy, and is the most widely planted red wine grape in southern Italy’s Campania and Basilicata.

Hailed as “Nebbiolo of the South” for its extraordinary ageing potential and quality, Aglianico is one of the most important red grape varietals in Italy. It’s dark skinned and deep in colour and makes rock solid wines of firm tannins and structure.  

For centuries its name is thought to be Hellenicum, meaning “Greek”, and retained the name until 15th century when it took its current name. The grape was once on the verge of extinction after phylloxera, and only survived in isolated pockets of land in Basilicata, Avellino, Benevento, Caserta and Salerno in Campania.

It was not until in 1940s when the determined Mastroberardino family came to the grape’s rescue and preserved the variety. Late ripening in nature, even up to November in Southern Italy, it makes complex, perfumed and robust wines on volcanic soil at high altitude.

Today, some of the country’s best Aglianico is grown in the DOCGs of Taurasi and Aglianico del Turbano in Campania, and Aglianico del Vulture Superiore in Basilicata near Mount Vulture.

Its esteem and nobility today are much celebrated among wine lovers and connoisseurs around the world. It even inspired winemakers outside of Italy in Australia, California and even China to try its hand at this variety.

Representative producers: D’Angelo, Feudi di San Gregorio, Mastroberardino, Villa Matilde and Montevetrano.

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