The culture of the vine in Campania boasts ancient origins and traditions. Campania is one of the most ancient areas where the grapevine was cultivated, and still today – in the framework of the international wine-growing system – is characterized by the presence of old vine varieties in many vineyards.
The link between the grapevine and the region is also testified by the precious archaeological finds that are able to document the excellent quality of the local wines, known in the antiquity as the “emperors’ wines”. Unfortunately, in the second half of the nineteenth century the local grapevines were affected by an “incurable disease” that was spreading throughout Europe: the phylloxera, that was responsible for the distruction of a big portion of the regional vineyards.
Nonetheless – thanks to the commitment of the local producers and the involved institutions – during the latest decades, many autochtonous vines have been recovered and the vines variety is still today considerd a valuable asset. Thus, the regional oenology is currently characterized for the enormous variety of grapevines cultivated in the area. In Campania there are more than 100 autochtonous vine varieties: a number that is unequalled in the world. The vine in Campania is cultivated in very different places, among which it is possible to distinguish a coastal area, a volcanic area and an internal area.
Some vines – as for the ones cultivated in the Peninsula Amalfitana and Sorrentina, and in the islands of Ischia, Capri and Procida – adapted to the sea and the saltiness, thus giving origin to some of the most prestigious wines in the national oenology. Other vines adapted to the volcanic grounds, rich of ashes, in the Vesuvius area, Pozzuoli, Astroni, the volcano Roccamonfina, etcetera.
In the internal areas, characterized by rainy winters,”the earth grapevines” of Campania, such as Fiano, Greco, Falanghina and Aglianico, produce many famous wines of great elegance. Overall, it can be stated that viticulture in Campania is rich in authenticity and originality. Every winegrowing area is a unique microworld capable of leaving distinctive imprints on the wines.