The Italian Wines of Naples

Picturesque Pompeii vineyard with Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the background

by Francesca Ciancio

Naples presents a unique and enchanting blend of urban vibrancy and rural charm, making it a standout destination for wine enthusiasts. This contrast is particularly evident in the city’s flourishing wine culture, which defies the common trend of vineyards being located in remote countryside areas. Instead, Naples showcases a remarkable array of vineyards situated right on the city’s outskirts, providing easy access for those eager to explore the world of wine within a stone’s throw from the urban center.

The heart of Naples’ urban viticulture lies in the Phlegrean area, a lush landscape peppered with vineyards. Notable regions such as Bacoli, Quarto, Agnano, and Pozzuoli emerge as key areas for wine production. Artisan vintners in these regions are committed to nurturing indigenous grape varieties, cultivating vines specifically for Piedirosso and Falanghina wines. These wines are celebrated for their unique and distinctive flavors. Moreover, the vineyards in this area are also known for producing other exquisite wines, such as those made from Aglianico and Fiano grapes.

Adding to Naples’ wine-making acclaim is the nearby Campi Flegrei area, a recognized DOC wine region covering about 150 hectares. This area, though seemingly modest in size, is significant enough to position Naples as the second European city with the largest vineyard surface area in proximity to an urban center.

The coexistence of urbanity and viticulture is what sets Naples apart. The city’s proximity to vineyards fosters a rare opportunity to experience the synthesis of city life and wine culture. Naples, with its rich history and flavor profiles, is not just a city for sightseeing but a destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in authentic Neapolitan wines.

Averno, Lake Pozzuoli, Naples, Italy

What wines to drink in Naples?

  1. Trentapioli Asprinio di Aversa DOC – Salvatore Martusciello Winery: This wine hails from the Asprinio di Aversa DOC, a wine region known for its unique Asprinio grape variety. Salvatore Martusciello winery, a respected name in the region, produces Trentapioli, a wine celebrated for its crisp acidity and lively effervescence. It pairs wonderfully with seafood and traditional Neapolitan dishes.
  2. Lacryma Christi DOC Red – Cantine Matrone: The Lacryma Christi (“Tears of Christ”) wines are among the most storied in the Campania region, with a history intertwined with local legends. The red variant from Cantine Matrone is a robust wine, often made from Piedirosso and Aglianico grapes. It offers a harmonious blend of fruit and earthy notes, making it a versatile partner to a range of Italian cuisines.
  3. Falanghina Campi Flegrei DOC – Agnanum: The Campi Flegrei area, close to Naples, is famous for its Falanghina wines. Agnanum, a notable producer in this region, crafts a Falanghina that is a true expression of the volcanic terroir. This wine is known for its aromatic profile, featuring hints of citrus and white flowers, coupled with a refreshing minerality. It’s an excellent accompaniment to light appetizers and fish dishes.