Friday, June 3, 2022

The Indigenous Whites of Campania with La Capranera Falanghina

When it comes to indigenous white grapes of Italy there is such a large variety to chooe from.  This month our Italian Food, Wine and Travel group (#ItalianFWT) hosted by Marcia at Joy of Wine selected the theme of indigenous white grapes from all over Italy.  I’ve had a bottle of Falanghina from the Campania region that I haven’t tried yet that I’ll be sharing today.  I love this region for both their whites and reds and don’t try them enough.  Let’s dig in! 

The Region ~ Campania 

The Campania wine region is located in southern Italy on the western border of the Tryyhenian Sea, which has a large influence on the wines of this region.  The wine I’m sharing today comes from the San Salvatore estate founded in 1988 by Giuseppe Pagano with the famous Riccardo Cotarella as his winemaker.  He grows indigenous grapes of Campania including Falanghina, Fiano and Aglianico on his 55 acres of vineyards.  The larger population of his 270+ acre estate is covered by forests with some arable farmland and olive groves. 

Campania region map
The Campania Region ~ Copyright of Wikipedia

La Capranera is a project that he started that produces young wines that are certified organic following biodynamic methods that are modern and easy to drink at affordable pricing.  The name “La Capranera” means “black goats” and stems comes from the indigenous goats the area called cilentana nera.  These goats graze in the nearby Cilento National Park outside of where the grapes are grown in the Capaccio-Paestum area.  These goats at one point faced extinction and are now are a growing population along with the Falanghina grape that once fell to the wasteside and is steadily being revived. 

cilentana nera goats of Campania
Cilentana Nera goats ~ Copyright of Pasquale D'Ancicco
The Grape ~ Falanghina 

Falanghina, pronounced “fah-lan-ghee-nah", is an ancient grape believed to be of Greek origin.  It’s primarily to be found in the Campania region and may be seen in small amounts in the regions of Puglia and Abruzzo.  It loves the volcanic soils of Campania placed from Mt. Vesuvius.  These grapes are yellow in color and are covered in a thin, waxy coating.  They’re typically are lively with acidity and floral aromatics with flavors of citrus, apple and pear with possible spicy and mineral notes along with pine aromas.  The wines may be labeled as Falanghina, but could be possibly be made from a combination of two genetically distinct grapes, Falanghina Beneventana and Falanghina Flegrea.  The only way to really know this is by doing your research after purchasing, but either way you’ll still be able to experience what this wonderful grape is all about. 

The Wine 

I wasn’t able to locate any technical specs on this particular vintage.  The winery only had their 2016 on their site so I don’t have those specifics to share.  The 2018 La Capranera Falanghina was straw colored with lots going on in the nose. Aromas of pears, green apple, lemon and a hint of peach. Mouthwatering acidity greeted me up front and carried right through to the lingering finish. Pineapple notes along with some lemon pith and salinity played on the palate. ABV 12.5% SRP $15  

2018 La Capranera Falanghina

This week was hectic with the holiday so I prepared some shredded chicken in the crockpot with carrots and peas with a side of asparagus. To please the husband and the kids I topped it with a roux sauce. It basically tasted like chicken pot pie without the pie. It went pleasantly well with the Falanghina. Not a Campanian dish, but sometimes you have to work with what you got and life is still good.  

chicken pairing with Falanghina
What are your favorite white native grapes of Italy that you enjoy?

Join the rest of our Italian food and wine loving friends as they share other indigenous Italian whites with some suggested pairings. Join us live this Saturday on Twitter at #ItalianFWT @ 11am EST. Ci vediamo! 

Importer: Banville Wine Merchants


  1. Absolutely love Falanghina! It's such a shame though that it's not easily found- even in my market where we have absolutely everything! LOL..I've been into chicken pot pie lately so I love this idea :)

  2. I DO love Falanghina! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I am a fan of Falanghina and don't often have a chance to drink it! There are so many Italian white wines out there to discover! I love that you found one that is affordable and biodynamic!

  4. I find myself returning to Campania often for both red and white wines. Haven't tried the Falanghina, though (and thanks for the pronunciation). Will add it to my wish list!

  5. I haven't heard of Falanghina until today. Going to be on the lookout next trip to Total Wines.

  6. Such a great wine to feature! I've luckily had the chance to try some but definitely not enough of them. What a nice pairing too that works in a crockpot and pleases the whole family!