Naples (Napoli) is the administrative center of Campania, whose provinces include Avellino, Benevento, Caserta and Salerno. The region ranks 12th in size (13,595 square kilometers) and 2nd in population (5,793,000).
In Campania’s vineyards things truly are changing; where a new spirit of achievement and sense of pride has been bolstered by the introduction of thoroughly modern winemaking techniques. Evidence of the new era is the rapid increase in production of DOC wines, including the first DOCG of the south in Taurasi. The volume of DOC wine produced has multiplied in recent years. But modernization has by no means swept away respect for tradition. In Campania, a majority of producers strives to make the most of native vines, including an honor roll of so-called “archaeological varieties” which do indeed date back to antiquity.
The noblest of red varieties is Aglianico, which makes the red Taurasi, as well as the red Falerno del Massico and others. Taurasi has been called “the Barolo of the south,” due to its size and ability to age, though its style is proudly its own. Greco, a name applied to various vines prominent in the south, reaches heights in Greco di Tufo. Fiano, praised by the Romans, is the base of the inimitable Fiano di Avellino. Falanghina, which seems to have been the base of the white version of Falernian, has become the region’s fastest spreading variety.
Campania’s DOC zones also include the fabled islands of Capri and Ischia, as well as the recently revived Penisola Sorrentina and Costa d’Amalfi, taking in the dramatically terraced seaside vineyards from Sorrento to Amalfi.