Molise is the youngest of Italy’s 20 administrative regions. Until 1963, Molise formed part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise, along with Abruzzo. The split became effective in 1970. Molise is a mountainous region with a stretch of coastline on the Adriatic Sea. It encompasses part of the National Park of Abruzzo in the Apennines mountain range, with rich wildlife and trails. The regional capital, Campobasso, is known for its mountaintop Monforte Castle and Romanesque churches. To the north is the Pietrabbondante archaeological area with an ancient Samnite theater and temple.

Capital city: Campobasso. Provinces (2): Campobasso (CB). | Isernia (IS). 

DOCGs: None. 

DOCs (4): Biferno DOC (Campobasso province). | Molise DOC. | Pentro d’Isernia DOC or Pentro DOC (Isernia province). | Tintilia del Molise DOC.

IGTs (2): Osco or Terra degli Osci IGT. | Rotae IGT.

Native wine grapes: Cococciola (w). | Montepulciano (r). | Sangiovese (r). | Tintilia (5).

Vineyard area: 8,000 hectares (smaller than Saint-Emilion AOC in Bordeaux), mainly in Campobasso province.

Terroir: The Molise region has an extension of 4,438 square kms with a predominantly mountainous territory, 55.3% of mountains and 44.7% of hills; the peculiarity of the land at a morphological level is characterized by a succession of reliefs with narrow and elongated summits of convex shape and more rarely sub-flat, separated by deep valleys with complex slopes. These slopes can be affected by intense erosive processes, sometimes of a calanchivio and landslide type. The substrate consists of the limestone marl formations of the Paleogene and of the Miocene arenaceous and marly-arenaceous formations.

Climate: Since the orography of Molise is not particularly troubled, the average annual temperature varies between 13.5 and 14.8 ° C, while the average annual rainfall is between 696.8 mm and 1067 mm. The seasonal distribution of the rains has typically Mediterranean characteristics, concentrating for about 60% in the autumn-winter period with a fairly uniform distribution on the territory. As Molise is mountainous yet with a stretch of coastline on the Adriatic Sea the region gets both continental and coastal climatic influences. 

Soils, geology: In the Molise area, lands with different ages and lithological characteristics emerge (Bestini T. 1983):

– stratified and / or massive platform limestone and limestone-dolomitic rocks of age

– Triassic-Cretaceous, represented by the massive reliefs of the Matese and mainarde; there morphology appears with rough shapes and steep slopes engraved by deep valley furrows;

– Calcareous-marly-flint formations of the Cretaceous-Oligocene age and Miocene flyscioid complexes with a predominantly arenaceous-marly and clayey-marly constitution. These lands emerge in a wide belt, delimited by the hills of Matese and Mainarde, which extends towards the NE up to the medium valleys of Trigno and Biferno. The south-eastern sector of this band, identifiable in the areas of Campobasso and Riccia, is made up of mostly arenaceous marly reliefs. In the sector falling in the areas of Frosolone, Chiauci the reliefs are of a calcareous-marly-flint nature flanked by marly-calcareous or marly-clayey-arenaceous like the areas of Forlì del Sannio, Roccasicura, Agnone;

– the allochthonous complex of the “ArgilleVaricolori” crops out in most of the central Molise area, in the middle and upper valleys of the Trigno and Biferno between Larino and Campobasso. It is also known by the term “syphilis complex”, “chaotic”, “undifferentiated”; the chaotic structure of these soils is due to the disordered and variously colored mixture of scaly clays of tectonic origin. This complex represents the substratum on which the Miocene calcareous marly, arenaceous-marly and marly-clayey flyscioid formations of the Miocene age rest. The Miocene flyscioid soils constitute a large part of the reliefs that extend from the Frentani Mountains to the Matese;

– clayey and sandy-conglomeratic sediments of the Plio-Pleistocene emerge in a belt parallel to the coast line and following the Montenero di Bisaccia-Guglionesi-4 alignment Ururi. The data from the countryside and those relating to the wells show that these soils find themselves in tectonic contact with the formation of “Varicolored Clays” and are deposited while the blankets of the allochthonous complex arrived in the basin. A further identifying element on the ground of the passage between the Plio-Pleistocene sediments with the remaining formations is due to the presence of evaporitic rocks such as gypsum (lower Valle del Trigno, Montenero di Bisaccia, Guglionesi);

– recent and current alluvial deposits and ancient alluvial terraces are found in the valley floors of the main rivers Trigno, Biferno and Fortore and their tributaries near the mouth;

– deposits of fluvial-lacustrine and marshy origin, interspersed with alluvial deposits and fans are present in the depressions of tectonic origin underlying the limestone-dolomitic and marly-flint limestone reliefs (plain of Boiano-Sepino, plain of Venafro-Roccaravindola, conca di Isernia).

On the basis of the relief power, the drainage density and the geolithological substrate three types of landscape can be observed: Hills landscape system, coastal hills landscape system and foothills landscape system.

Human factors: Viticulture was already known at the time of the Greeks with a wine called Paetrutianum, and Pliny speaks of a famous wine produced from a vine called pumula, was consolidated in the Middle Ages in the shadow of the feudal castle, which with the approval of the “Lord” was It is possible to cultivate the vine and a few other crops for the vassals and the needs of the settler families. The entire regional territory is sprinkled with testimonies documenting the presence of the vine and the illustrious quality of the wines obtained. The first detailed information, ordered according to a scientific criterion, on the production of wines produced in Molise from the varieties present and cultivated, date back to the writings of Raffaele Pepe.

Giuseppe del Re, in 1836, indicates that “the vineyards, almost all planted on hills and hills, form a total of 56,948 moggi (about 4,000 ha), and contain various species of grapes, which ripen early and late, but all in place during the harvest days “. In 1892, on the initiative of Angelantuono Baranello, the Workers’ Society was founded in Ferrazzano and carried out an intense promotional activity in the local agricultural area.


Disciplinare della produzione della Denominazione di origine controllata dei vini Biferno.