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Feudi di San Gregorio Fiano di Avellino 2001
A modern expression of a centuries-old tradition of passion and dedication to the land, Feudi di San Gregorio is Campania's premier winemaking estate. Situated in the village of Sorbo Serpico in one of Italy's most exciting and innovative wine regions, Feudi di San Gregorio was established in 1986 in a joint venture between the Ercolino and Capaldo families of Irpinia. The proprietors of this family-run estate have selected the finest vineyards in which to nurture this region's unique, indigenous varietals.
The results have been remarkable – the wines of Feudi di San Gregorio have met time and again with stellar reviews and have garnered international critical acclaim. Owner and winemaker Enzo Ercolino works closely with consultant Riccardo Cotarella, one of Italy's foremost enologists.
Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes grow in every region throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean. Naturally, most Italian regions enjoy a Mediterranean climate and a notable coastline, if not coastline on all borders, as is the case with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
The Alps in the northern regions of Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy and Alto Adige as examples, create favorable conditions for cool-climate varieties, while the Apennine Mountains, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south, affect climate, grape variety and harvest periods throughout. Considering its variable terrain and conditions, it's still safe to say that most high quality viticulture in Italy takes place on picturesque hillsides.
Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but are declining in popularity, especially as younger growers take interest in reviving local varieties. Most important are Sangiovese, reaching its greatest potential in Tuscany and Nebbiolo, the prized grape of Piedmont, producing single varietal, age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Corvina, Montepulciano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course the whites, Pinot Grigio and Trebbiano. The list goes on.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of white grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.