- Category: On the Road with the Grape Guy
Day 3 …
A small handful of us end up at Feudi di San Gregorio, the largest winery of Campania (3 million bottle output) and one of the largest in all of Italy (4+ million bottles total). This ultra-modern winery has everything going for it: access to old vines, state of the art winemaking facilities, gorgeous views and a Michelin-star restaurant (sadly closed for a private event during our visit). Young by Italian standards (est. 1986) this winery has grown up fast and maintains a young, vibrant, energetic staff to keep it on the cutting edge and moving forward with an eye both on the past, but definitely with one zeroed in on the future. Some of the most impressive wines were the traditional method sparklings made in very small quantities, but definitely worth tasting if you get out to the winery. Other wines that truly impressed were:
Day 4 …
Today, two visits are on the docket, both are wineries located on the hillside of Mt Vesuvius … stunning views and the proximity to “danger” is a really impressive way to spend an afternoon. At one point we were a mere 4km from the crater – it is said that within that distance, if the volcano were to erupt, you have less than 7 minutes to kiss your family and your own ass goodbye. While many of us would think living under those conditions would be stressful the people up here seem less concerned with the volcano’s temperament and more on their day-to-day lives and how they can focus attention on agro-tourism to their part of the world without being able to spend a dime on infrastructure. The wineries are part of the National Park (Sorrentini Vini in particular) and because of this the government has a say in what they can and cannot build, or even do, with their winery making it hard to make upgrade and modernizations … at times, as Giuseppe Sorrentino speaks, I am reminded of home and how our government likes to poke its nose into areas it shouldn’t when it comes to the wine business.
For the most part these wines are grown on un-grafted vines because of the volcanic and sandy soils they are grown in (phylloxera does not thrive in sandy soils), and they give an authentic feel to the wines … do they taste better than grafted (on North American rootstock) wines? That is a tougher question to answer and one for the drinker / consumer to decide – for me, a good wine is a good wine grafted or not.
Sorrentino Vini wines of note:
2015 Lacryma Christi de Vesuvio Bianco Superior, “Vigna Lapillo”
2014 Lacryma Christi de Vesuvio Rosso Superior, “Vigna Lapillo”
2016 Lacryma Christi de Vesuvio Rosato
2012 Aglianico Vesuvio Superiore, “Don Paolo”