Basilicata

Potenza is the administrative center of Basilicata, whose other province is Matera. The region ranks 14th in size (9,992 square kilometers) and 18th in population (608,000).

To Basilicata, perhaps as long ago as the 6th or 7th century B.C., the Greeks brought the Aglianico vine, which is also the base of Campania’s vaunted Taurasi (its name is a corruption of Hellenico). Grown on the slopes of the extinct volcano known as Monte Vulture it makes a robust, deeply colored wine that from fine vintages can improve for many years, becoming increasingly refined and complex in flavor. There are also youthful versions of the wine, sometimes semisweet and even sparkling, but the dry vecchio or riserva, after aging in oak casks, rates the most serious consideration.

Aglianico is also used for wines under the regions single IGT of Basilicata, notably in the east around Matera, where reds from Sangiovese and Montepulciano also originate. White wines of interest are the sweet Moscato and Malvasia, the best of which come from the Vulture zone and the eastern Bradano valley.