Campania is one of the largest and most densely populated regions in Italy, as well as one of the most beautiful, both in terms of landscape and heritage, and includes six sites awarded the UNESCO World Heritage title. It borders with Lazio and Molise in
the North, Basilicata and Apulia in the East and Calabria in the South, while overlooking the Tyrrhenian sea on the West.
The hinterland was populated, as early as the 3rd millennium B.C., by the Samnites and other ancient tribes. During the 8th century B.C. the Greeks started founding settlements along the 350 Km long coast, from which originated the Magna-Grecia colonies of Pithecusa, Cuma, Parthenope, Poseidonia and Neapolis, with the latter deveolping into the main centre of the region. The area also constituted the extreme southern limit of the Etruscan expansion. In the second half of the 4th century B.C. the region fell under the influence of the Romans, who called it “Campania Felix” (which translates as “fertile countryside” as well as “happy,
blessed land”) in reference to its prosperity. With Latium (modern Lazio), it formed the core territory of the Roman Empire and Miseno, in the North of the Neapolitan bay, became the largest base for the Roman fleet.
With its Mediterranean climate, sea air, protective mountains and volcanic soil, Campania is one of Italy's oldest wine regions. Here wine-making traces back to the 12th century B.C. and here was produced Falerno (Falernum, as it was called in Roman times), probably one of the most ancient wines in the world. As the land was cultivated in succession by the Greeks, the Romans and the Byzantines, most of its grape varieties are very ancient, like Aglianico, introduced to the area by the Greeks and famous for its unique flavour, intense colour and dense body, base for the superb Taurasi DOCG, made in the province of Avellino, the Falerno del Massico DOC, produced around Caserta, and the Aglianico del Taburno DOC, from Benevento.
Other Campanian grape varieties are Asprigno Bianco, Aleatico, Sciascinoso, Verdeca, Coda di Volpe, Falanghina, Fiano, Forester, Greco Bianco and Piedirosso (also called Per’e Palummo in Neapolitan, as the skin color of the grapes reminds of the color of pigeon feet).
Typical Red Wines
Aglianico Rosso, Aglianico Liquoroso, Taurasi DOCG, Piedirosso, Passito Campi
Flegrei, Galluccio DOC, Falerno del Massico, Lacryma Christi Rosso
Typical White Wines
Aglianico Bianco, Greco di Tufo, Falanghina, Fiano, Asprino, Lacryma Christi Bianco
Typical Rosé Wines
Lacryma Christi Rosa, Aglianico del Taburno Rosato, Pedirosa IGT, Roseto del
Volturno, Terre Cerase, Vesuvio DOC