Vesuvio DOC: It is a very interesting appellation from Campania producing red, white, rose’, dessert and sparkling wines.White Grape Varieties: Caprettone, Coda di Volpe, Falanghina
Principal Red Grape Varieties: Aglianico, Piedirosso. The Minimum alcohol level is 11.0% for Bianco, Rosato, Rosso, Spumante, and Rosato Spumante; 11.5% for varietal Aglianico Rosato, Caprettone, Falanghina, and Piedirosso (both still and sparkling); 12.0% for Aglianico Rosso and for Lacryma Christi Bianco, Rosato, Rosso, Spumante, and Rosato Spumante; 13.0% for Superiore and Riserva
Many confuse Lacryma Christi as being its own DOC but it is included under the Vesuvio DOC production regulations and control. It is a subdivision with slightly more constraining production rules with respect to lower yields and higher potential alcohol at harvest. While blending is optional, many producers release 100% Piedirosso versions by preference but the Lacryma is mostly blended for style consistency from year to year.
The resulting wines are typically light and easy to drink and express red fruit and herbal notes with hints of tar. Poor anthocyanin content in the grapes result in the lighter color and lower tannins. In Lacryma, Aglianico adds the tannin structure that Piedirosso often lacks while also softening the high acidity of the edgy Piedirosso varietal. Plums and cherry notes dominate Lacryma wines.
The name, “Lacryma Christi”, translates to the “tears of Christ” and the origin of the name remains a mystery with many legends. Locals say that parts of heaven crashed into the Port of Naples when Lucifer was cast into hell and Jesus was so sad to lose an angel that he wept and his tears landed on Vesuvio where this wines is grown. A more likely story includes medieval monks that implemented an ancient drip system of wine making and derived the wine’s name from their unique production technique.
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In the meantime, if you are in the mood for a good book, you can try:
– The Modern History of Italian Wine by Walter Filipputti
– Hidden Gems of Italy: An Insider’s Secret Formula To Find Top-Class Italian Wines At Value Prices And Taste La Dolce Vita by Tony Margiotta
Additionally, you can discover the other wines from Campania.