Campania intoxicates the visitor with the scents of the Mediterranean released by pines, orange and lemon trees. The cliffs overlooking the sea, the golden beaches, the clear sea; the same millennial charm that has conquered the mythical heroes, Greece, the Romans and the imaginary of the whole world. Privileged by a mild climate and fertile soil, the region is characterized by mostly hilly territory, with mountainous areas bordering Basilicata and Molise. Vesuvius, among the few volcanoes still active in Europe, the Gulfs of Naples and Salerno, separated from the Sorrento peninsula, and the islands of Ischia, Capri and Procida offer landscapes of rare beauty.
Campania stands out for its ancient winemaking tradition, so much so that Campania wine was already famous in ancient Rome: particularly famous was the Falerno, now relaunched in a modern version (vinified in white with Falanghina base and in red with Aglianico base or Primitivo) from some local producers of the Caserta area, on the hills of Mondragone and Sessa Aurunca.
In Campania you can distinguish 5 macro-zones: the Casertano, the area of Naples and the splendid islands of Capri and Ischia, Irpinia, Benevento and Cilento, located on the border with Calabria. Just past the Lazio border, the province of Caserta is known for the Aversa DOC denomination, whose Aprinio wine, delicate and fresh par excellence but above all for the Falerno del Massico DOC, produced in a small coastal strip between Mondragone and Sessa Aurunca, where mainly Aglianico, Primitivo and Falanghina are cultivated.
In the last decade, interest in Alto Casertano is growing thanks to the Casavecchia pearls and the two Pallagrello Bianco, highly appreciated for the remarkable citrus notes, for the good structure and the enveloping softness, and the Pallagrello Nero from which grapes are obtained complex red and rosé wines, recognizable by their structure and power. In the area of Naples, very different wine-making realities coexist. In the siliceous sands of the Phlegraean Fields denomination, only Falanghina and Piedirosso are cultivated, from which wines of moderate structure are obtained but fresh and fragrant. In the limestone vineyards of Capri, the Falanghina has a medium structure, while on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius and in Ischia, the Piedirosso is richer and more complex, suitable to accompany sage meat roulades. The Rosso of the sub-denomination Lacryma Christi is the fruit of the blend between Aglianico and Piedirosso and expresses a strong alcoholic note, as well as hints of violets and cherries.
TASTING… IN CAMPANIA!
Naples is a wonderful city known throughout the world for the Neapolitan songs and for the Pizza, which is the bulwark of the Campania gastronomy. In pizzerias it is almost always obvious to combine Pizza with Beer, but for gourmets also wine can be an excellent alternative of pleasantness, especially if it concerns a Spumante Rosato del Sannio based on Aglianico, which is also very good with the delicious Spaghetti with the Piènnolo del Vesuvio tomatoes (cherry tomatoes tied to bunches and dried), or to the more famous San Marzano tomato.
The Orata alla Positano with aromatic herbs, capers and stale bread, and the Spaghetti with Cetara anchovy sauce are perfect with a robust Furore Bianco Amalfi Coast, while the married Soup, prepared with various types of vegetables and meats of pork, beef and chicken, goes well with a Fiano di Avellino. Within the regional territory, the meat is the basic ingredient of many dishes: the lamb stew is excellent with an Aglianico del Taburno, the delicious Mugliatielli – sheep offal rolls – with a Taurasi, the black pig casertano baked with a powerful black Pallagrello from the area, and the Sausage with Friarielli (the inflorescences not yet blossomed of turnips), beloved by the Neapolitans, with a soft Falerno del Massico obtained from Primitivo.
In Campania the meal ends in sweetness with the traditional Neapolitan Pastiera, the Sfogliatelle and the Zeppole, well accompanied by an excellent Moscato di Baselice from the Benevento area or with a Passito Sant’Agata de’ Goti.