Campania is one of Italy’s 20 administrative regions, the region of Naples and the Sorrento peninsula. Campania was a source of fine wines for the ancient Romans, and in Latin literature a large number of different and high-quality types of Campanian wines are listed. The famous sentence that Horace uttered to Maecenas “You usually drink Cecubo and Calenus, but in my cups no mixes or Falerno nor Formiano” provides, in a few lines, the four most important wine names of those times.

Political geography : Capital city: Metropolitan City of Napoli (NA). Provinces (4): Avellino (AV). | Benevento (BN). | Caserta (CE). | Salerno (SA).

Terroir: Campania is 35% mountainous, 51% hilly, and 14% flat. Soils are very varied depending on the area and altitude. There is calcareous or volcanic soil characterized by high potassium and phosphorus concentrations. The climate is temperate and mild even in winter, with hot, dry summers. Overall, the region benefits from the influence of its high mountains, the temperate influence of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, and its volcanic soils.

Vineyard area: Over 40,000 hectares of vineyard. Some of the many beautiful ones are found at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, on the islands of Ischia and Capri, along the Sorrento Peninsula, and in the province of Caserta (Falerno del Massico DOC), Benevento (Taburno, Colli del Sannio and Valle Caudina). Campania’s first DOC was Ischia in 1966, followed by Greco di Tufo and Taurasi in 1970, and Solopaca in 1973.

Native wine grapes: Aglianico (r). | Biancolella (w). | Caprettone (w). | Coda di Volpe Bianca (w). | Falanghina. | Fiano Asprinio (w). | Forastera (w). | Greco (w). | Piedirosso (r). | Ripoli (w). | Roviello (w). | Sciascinoso (r).

UNESCO World Heritage sites: Amalfi coast. | Herculaneum. | Pompei. | Royal Palace of Caserta. | Torre Annunziata.

Wine regions

DOCG (4)Aglianico del Taburno DOCG. | Fiano di Avellino DOCG. | Greco di Tufo DOCG. | Taurasi DOCG.

DOC (14)Aversa DOC. | Campi Flegrei DOC. | Campi Taurasini DOC. | Capri DOC. | Casavecchia di Pontelatone DOC. | Castel San Lorenzo DOC. | Cilento DOP. | Costa d’Amalfi DOC. | Falanghina del Sannio DOC. | Falanghina del Sannio DOC sottozona Solopaca. | Falerno del Massico DOC. | Galluccio DOC. | Irpinia DOC. | Ischia DOC. | Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio DOC. | Penisola Sorrentina DOC. | Sannio DOC. | Solopaca DOC–see Falanghina del Sannio DOC sottozona Solopaca. | Vesuvio DOC.

IGT, IGP (4)Beneventano IGT. | Campania. | Colli di Salerno. | Terre del Volturno.

Native wine grapes, redAglianico. | Pallagrello Nero. | Piedirosso (also known as “Per ‘e palummo” or Pigeon Foot). | Sciascinoso. | Serpentaria. | Uva Serpe.

Native wine grapes, whiteAsprinio Bianco. | Biancolella. | Coda di Cavallo. | Coda di Pecora. | Coda di Volpe Bianca. | Caprettone. | Falanghina (of which there exist at least three varieties and still more biotypes). | Fiano. | Forastera. | Greco. | Pallagrello Bianco. | Roviello.

Vineyard area & wine production: Statistics to follow.

Wineries

Certified organicPierluigi Zampaglione.

No certification: Montevetrano.

Bibliography

Ian D’Agata, Native wine grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014).