Gorgeous Campania rises from its Tyrhennian Sea coastline, from ancient fishing villages and posh seaside resorts, past the city of Naples and towering Mount Vesuvius to hillsides lined with lemon groves, olive trees and grapevines. Though this southern region doesn’t yet enjoy the same reputation for great wines as Tuscany or Piedmont, Campania produces excellent wines, unique to the area, that deserve more attention.
Campania’s long, warm growing season and volcanic soils can combine to produce powerful and concentrated red wines (from native varieties including Aglianico and Piedirosso) and aromatic, minerally white wines (from the native Greco, Falanghina and Fiano varieties). The region includes four DOCGs and 15 DOCs.
The four wines with the highest quality designation are produced around the provincial capital of Avellino. The Taurasi DOCG produces a red wine made from Aglianico grape. It must be aged at least three years, including one year in barrel, before it is released. This is a full-bodied red with great potential for further aging. The Aglianico del Taburno DOCG makes an approachable version of this varietal wine that requires less aging. Both Fianco di Avellino and Greco di Tufo and are top-quality, dry white wines; “Tufo” describes the soil, filed with tuff, or volcanic rocks, that predominates in local vineyards.