Donna Paolina Campania Falanghina 2016
A winemaking renaissance is underfoot in Campania as more and more small, artisan and family-run wineries redefine their style with vineyard improvements and cellar upgrades. The region boasts a cool Mediterranean climate with extreme coastal, as well as high elevation mountain terroirs. It is cooler than one might expect in Campania; the region usually sees some of the last harvest dates in Italy.
Just south of Mount Vesuvio, the volcanic and sandy soils create aromatic and fresh reds based on Piedirosso and whites, made from Coda di Volpe and Falanghina. Both reds and whites go by the name, Lacryma Christi, meaning the "tears of Christ." South of Mount Vesuvio, along the Amalfi Coast, the white varieties of Falanghina and Biancolella make fresh, flirty, mineral-driven whites, and the red Piedirosso and Sciasinoso vines, which cling to steeply terraced coastlines, make snappy and ripe red wines.
Farther inland, as hills become mountains, the limestone soil of Irpinia supports the whites Fiano di Avellino, Falanghina and Greco di Tufo as well as the most-respected red of the south, Aglianico. Here the best and most age-worthy examples come from Taurasi.
Farther north and inland near the city of Benevento, the Taburno region also produces Aglianico of note—called Aglianico del Taburno—on alluvial soils. While not boasting the same heft as Taurasi, these are also reliable components of any cellar.
Thought to be an ancient transplant from Greece, the grape takes its name from the Greek word, phalanga, meaning stake or pole, in reference to the Greek method of training vines to single stakes. Thriving throughout Campania, it plays a key role in many regional blends and grows widely from the north in Falerno del Massico DOC zone to Naples where, along the slopes on Mount Vesuvius, local grapes called Verdeca, Coda di Volpe and Greco take well to it’s addition. On the Amalfi Coast, it is added to Biancolella as well as Greco. Around Avellino, it can be made into single varietal versions, like its compatriots: Fiano and Greco.
Falanghina produces attractive and unoaked wines with an alluring piney resin and citrus blossom fragrance, which are juicy and refreshing on the palate. Try it with a classic Caprésé salad of mozzarella, heirloom tomato and fresh basil.