Italy’s Campania retains the allure and magic of ancient mythology. From the mystifyingly beautiful Amalfi Coast that still manages to conjure visions of gods and sirens, pleasure and lore, to the volcanic, fog shrouded spine of the Appenines that bisect the Italian peninsula, the Campania never fails to enchant. Known to the Romans as the Campania Felix, meaning the “joyous country” or the “face with an open smile,” the Campania is the ancient province of the Roman Empire that sits just south of Rome and neighboring Latium. As its name implies, this region produces friendly, gregarious wines in addition to an abundance of high quality produce.
At the height of the Roman Empire, the Campania served as the granary of Rome, supplying sustenance to the capital and provisions to the legions of soldiers and magistrates who administered an empire. Today, Campania continues the tradition by furnishing Rome and Naples with a host of culinary delights, most notably fresh, delicious fruit, vegetables, and of course wine. And although Campania languished for more than a century from the deleterious effects of war, political neglect, and phylloxera, it has in the past few decades witnessed a renaissance in its wine industry. Specifically, Campania has re-focused its attention on its traditional assets: a host of premium grape varieties, both indigenous and transplanted, such as Aglianico, Piedirosso, Falanghina, Greco di Tufo, and Fiano di Avellino to name just a few. Aglianico, the highly flavorful red variety the Greeks brought to southern Italy more than 2,500 years ago, has in this century emerged as one of Italy’s greatest red grapes, yielding staggeringly rich wines of depth, power, and age-ability. In the Campania, Aglianico can match the finest red wines made anywhere in Italy, including the best wines of Tuscany and Piedmont. And what could be more exemplary of the good nature and open character of the land and people of the Campania than the region’s fabulous white wines? Greco di Tufo and Fiano Di Avellino have re-claimed their rightful places among the finest seafood wines in the world, and the list goes on. So no matter if red or white is your preference, the wines of Campania are sure to put a smile on your face.