Campania, a region in Southern Italy, has deep roots in ancient winemaking and practices influenced strongly by the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. Campania served as a center of the Magna Grecia, “Great Greece”, which were colonies of the Greeks in southern Italy. They were very instrumental in the development of agriculture and viticulture for the fertile lands of the area.
Aristotle wrote of vineyards being planted in Campania since 5 B.C. One of the more important wines to note coming out of the Campania wine region are those known as Christi. The name translates to “tears of Christ”, which hold many legends with one of the most common being that God shed tears when Lucifer stole a piece of heaven.
The wines of Christi are a sub-designation under the DOC created in 1983, although these wines have been grown here for centuries. The DOC is made up of over 100 producers with vineyards located on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, an active volcano located right off the Bay of Naples. As you’re probably aware, Mt. Vesuvius is famous for the eruption of 79 A.D. when it destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Ercolano. According to the Vesurvio DOP Consorzio, "the area under vine is 391 hectares with over half (52%) of the vineyard area declared a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for the production of the Vesurvio DOC and Lacryma Christi DOC wines".
|Copyright of Vesuvio DOP Consorzio
|My visit to Pompeii in 2007 with a view of Mt. Vesuvius
For the Christi Bianco wines the grape coda di leads the charge. A grape exclusively found in Campania, coda di translates to “white foxtail” that describes the shape of the grape cluster that develops. This grape can also be blended with , and .
In recent decades the producers have advanced winemaking practices and increased the overall quality of wines being developed in this region. Mastroberadino is one of the most famed producers of this region for producing high quality wines along with Feudi di San Gregorio and others.
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