Campania - Food and Wines - Wines
The ancient Romans considered Campania Felix to be the "non plus ultra" of wine regions. They favoured the vineyards along the coast north of Naples where Falernum, the most treasured wine of the empire, was grown.
They also lauded the wines of Vesuvius and the hills of Avellino. The Greeks, too, recognised the privileged nature of the place, introducing vines which still stand out today in Aglianico and Greco.
Campania's vinicultural fortunes had been declining for decades as growers left the land and a majority of producers ignored DOC.
But there have always been exceptions, none more conspicuous than the trio of classified wines - the red Taurasi and the white Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo - all grown in the hills east of Naples.
Taurasi, from Aglianico, has been called "the Barolo of the south" (non italics) due to its size and ability to age, though its style is proudly its own. That red wine was next in line for DOCG. Fiano and Greco are among italy's most distinguished whites.
Credit for their status is due largely to the Mastroberadino winery which has carried these historically significant, but once nearly forgotten, vines to new heights of prestige.
The wines of Ischia and Solopaca rate increasing praise, as do the new DOCs of Falerno del Massico, where the ancient Falernum was grown. Recently the region's wine authorities have put the emphasis on controlled quality in new zones designed to revive Campania's historical potential.