Grape varieties in Campania

Campania Grapes

Grapes

Campania

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Viticulture in Campania

Viticulture in Campania almost exclusively relies on native grapes, with the majority of them being white. 

What are the grape varieties in Campania?

Fiano: in the inland Irpinia region, Fiano is grown on high altitude sites (400 to 700 meters above sea level) within the Avellino DOCG and gives high-acid still whites. Floral, zesty and herbal in its youth, it evolves gracefully in bottle, gaining textural depth while retaining excellent  freshness and focus. Mature versions often draw parallels to top-notch Riesling or Burgundy white with their honeyed and flinty complexity allied to inoxidable vibrancy. In warmer areas like the coast of Cilento, the grape yields slightly riper wines emphasizing early-drinking appeal. 

Greco: another key variety, giving slightly richer and bolder whites than Fiano, with intense aromas of golden apple, yellow flowers, and flint. High acidity and a touch of phenolic astringency balance the full structure, also ensuring good proneness to aging. 

Greco di Tufo is the most famous denomination devoted to this grape, which is also widely grown in the Sannio region in Northeastern Campania and in the Cilento region in the south.

Falanghina: Falanghina thrives in the Sannio area, in the Campi Flegrei subzone on the coast of Naples, and in the Massico region in northern Campania. Expressions from Sannio display floral and fruity aromas anticipating a bright and immediately-appealing palate. Versions from Campi Flegrei show a distinctive smoky and herbal allure, with tangy salinity making up for slightly lower acid levels. In the Massico area, age-worthy, barrel-aged examples are quite common. 

Asprinio di Aversa: a rare white grape grown in the province of Caserta in Northern Campania, where the traditional “alberata” training system is still in place. Such vineyards are often over ten meters tall, and yield light, crisp and often low-alcohol wines, either still or sparkling, and making a great aperitivo. 

Pallagrello Bianco: the other key grape in Northern Campania, yielding richer wines than Asprinio, with high acidity and just a bit of astringency, pairing well with chicken and mushrooms. Top-notch Pallagrello Bianco also shows good proneness to aging well. 

Key grapes of the Amalfi coast and the Campanian islands:  Falanghina, Biancolella, Ripoli, Ginestra,  Fenile, Biancazita and Pepella are the key grapes on the Amalfi coast and in the island of Capri and Ischia. When planted on steep vineyards overlooking the sea, they give smooth and seductive white wines, redolent of ripe orchard fruits and tangy flavors of Mediterranean herbs, often complemented by a savory tang. 

Aglianico: this famed red variety dominates regional production, giving bold wines with an imposing tannic structure, noteworthy acidity, and intense aromas of black fruits, botanical herbs, dark spice, and damp earth. Often referred to as “Barolo from the south” for the sheer elegance and excellent aging potential of the best versions, Taurasi is the most famous Aglianico-based red wine, originating from the namesake area in the Irpinia subzone. Aging for Taurasi must last at least three years (including one year in oak). 

Aglianico also gives Aglianico del Taburno, Falerno del Massico, and Cilento Aglianico. 

Piedirosso: also known as Per’ e Palumm’ (pigeon’s feet) because of the red-ish color of the stalk at full maturity, this native grape is at home in maritime areas such as the Campi Flegrei area on the Neapolitan coast, the island of Ischia, and the Sorrento Peninsula. It gives light to medium-bodied reds characterized by moderate to low tannin content and inviting herbal and spicy flavors, which pair delightfully with pizza Margherita or richer seafood dishes. 

Primitivo: originally from Puglia, this red grape is widely grown in the Falerno del Massico area, and produces bold reds that are less exuberant and a touch higher in acidity than their Apulian counterparts. 

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