Introducing Campania’s Key Grapes: Aglianico and Falanghina

Campania’s Key Grapes: Aglianico and Falanghina

Campania’s two most important grapes– Falanghina and Aglianico– aren’t well known in the US and are rarely grown in the states with notable exceptions in Paso Robles where Castoro grows Falanghina and Aglianico at Sunce. While Aglianico may be considered one of Italy’s three best wine grapes, it is not best known: it’s much less famous than its brethren Sangiovese aka Chianti or Nebbiolo aka Barolo. Known as the Barolo of the south, Aglianico is Campania’s most planted red variety and prefers volcanic and/or clay calcareous soils. It ripens at the end of harvest in late October and early November producing high acid, small thick skinned berries.

Falanghina is a white wine whose name comes from the method of vine cultivation in Sannio at the end of the Roman Era that used poles called Falangs.

Campania, located on the shin of Italy’s boot, means happy, blessed fertile valley. Soils are rich thanks to Mount Vesuvius: an eruption in AD 79 buried Pompeii under 13-20′ of ash, pumice, and rubble.

The cuisine in Campania goes beyond pizza and spaghetti to caprese salad, stuffed pastas, anchovies, seafood, and pasta puttenesca with pork being an important food. We last wrote about Campania’s Feudi di San Gregorio paired with pizza and wild boar ragu. 

Campania and kitty

2 Wines from Campania

  • 2021 Terrestregata Trama Falanghina 
  • 2021 Cantina di Solopaca Aglianico Benventano 



2021 Terrestregata Trama Falanghina

ABV: 13%
Grapes: Falanghina

Importer: The Italian Selection

Appearance:  Pale lemon almost the color of lemon pith, very clear

Aroma: Lemon, lemon grass, sea grass, meadow, fresh and light, subtle nose, chamomile appears on the palate after the fist introduction on the palate

Palate: Tart lemon, Eureka lemon,  bright acidity, chamomile, finish hangs out mid palate for a good long time. The lemon tartness lingers at the back of the throat.  As the palate warms up to the wine it becomes even more pleasurable

Pairing: The first thing we wanted with this wines was….. (so surprising for us) oysters. The two paired were like rich ripe meaty cantaloupe. So beautiful together. The oyster that is not as fat and rich and meaty. I think a Kumamoto would have even better with the wine. Also great with the salad loving the salty fried prosciutto, the bitter greens and the oils in the salad and the dressing bring the pairing to a new height. Fantastic with the shrimp pasta. The wine loves the sweet shrimp and the rich anchovies in the sauce. The sweet shrimp are so flavorful, and they bring out such beautiful sweet fruit  in this wine changing it from a tart acidic wine to a more flavorful smooth sipper. The lemon becomes more of a nectarine and apricot in the wine. 

Falanghina and Aglianico

2021 Cantina di Solopaca Aglianico Benventano

ABV: 12.5%
Grapes: Aglianico
Importer Straitalian Inc. 

Appearance:  Raspberry juice, fresh raspberries, pretty pink rim. 

Aroma: Insence, church incense, plum, red current, violet, red vines licorice, cinnamon, more like red hots, sweet vanilla, 

Palate: So very tart and dry, cranberry, cocoa powder, eucalyptus, rosemary on the finish, this is a very young wine and could use some time in the cellar, lots of tannins and acidity that should hold up through time. This is such a food yearning wine. It really deserves to shine with the food it is paired with. 

Pairing: The wine and the Coppa were a great combination. The palate needs the fat and richness of the food in order to bring out the excellence in the wine. Great with our raw almonds. The almond richness is highlighted, the nutty flavor is enhanced and the wine has fresh bright fruit notes when paired together. Cambozola and the wine was so perfect together. I felt that the wine was just alright with the pasta, Sue found it to be quite pleasurable. However, with the salad the wine was an even a better match. It yearned for the creamy avocado, the rich olive oil and the crispy salty prosciutto. Make your prosciutto into crispy bacon bits to bring your salad to another level. The amazing pairing is with the pasta with Sue’s red sauce with Italian sausage. All of these rich flavors help to integrate the flavors of this young wine. 

This week I attended Gambero Rosso and found more Falanghina and Aglianico.


For more about Campania, Molise, and Basilicata, check out:

  • Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Aglianico and Schwarma? Let’s give it a try….”
  • Camilla of Culinary Cam features “From Campania: Pasta Named for a Patron Saint + Wine from an Ancient Tale.”
  • Robin from Crushed Grape Chronicles highlights “Campania, Calzone, and Aglianico.”
  • Andrea of The Quirky Cork offers “Basilicata Meets Turkey Sucuk Paired Aglianico.”
  • Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog presents “A Taste of Three Feudi di San Gregorio Campania White Wines.”
  • Susannah of Avvinare reveals “Tintilia, A gem grown in Molise.”
  • Katarina of Grapevine Adventures discusses “Giovanni Piccirillo Brings a Fresh Approach to Winemaking in Alto Casertano.”
  • And host Jen of Vino Travels gives “A Glimpse into Molise with the Tombacco Biferno Rosso Riserva.”

There will be a chat this month at 8am Pacific. Search for the hashtag #ItalianFWT.All are welcome.

Join our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group at 11am EST as we chat live at #ItalianFWT to discuss food and wine from the regions of the Basilicata, Molise and Campania.
11:00am EST: Ciao! Welcome to the Italian Food, Wine & Travel chat on wines and some food pairings from the Basilicata, Campania and Molise wine regions of Italy. #ItalianFWT
11:05am EST: Introduce yourself and your blog and tell us which region you featured this month. #ItalianFWT
11:10am EST: Was the wine(s) you tried this month new to you or had you tried them previously? #ItalianFWT
11:15am EST: Share your blog post and tell us a little something about it. #ItalianFWT
11:20am EST: Lets talk about the grape you tried. Is it native to the region? #ItalianFWT
11:25am EST: Tell us a fun fact about what you learned from the wine region you featured #ItalianFWT
11:30am EST: Has anyone been to the Basilicata, Molise or Campania wine regions? Share any pics if you have them. #ItalianFWT
11:35am EST: Did you pair your wine with food? Tell us about your selection and post a pic. #ItalianFWT
11:40am EST: How did your pairing turn out? #ItalianFWT
11:45am EST: Lets chat about the winery you featured. There is so much history between many of these Italian wineries. Is there anything unique you discovered in yours? #ItalianFWT
11:50am EST: What is your familiarity with the other regions and any great wines or grapes you’ve tried you’d like to share? #ItalianFWT
11:55am EST: Before we wrap up, anything else you’d like to share with the group today that you learned? #ItalianFWT
12:00pm EST: Thank you for joining our chat today. Next month our host Katarina Andersson will feature Calabria and Sardinia. Enjoy your weekend! #ItalianFWT
In 2023, we’re working our way from the toe to the knee of Italy! 
We started in Sicily in January with an intro to 5 native grapes with pairings, headed east to Puglia for February with organic wines  made from unusual grapes, this month is Campania for us and next month we’re headed to Sardinia while others will feature Calabria. 

8 thoughts on “Introducing Campania’s Key Grapes: Aglianico and Falanghina

  1. I discovered Aglianico ages ago at Kenneth Volk when he had his Paso tasting room. We picked up a few bottles of different wines, and I remember reaching out to him and asking about a good pairing for Thanksgiving. Without hesitation, he suggested Aglianico.
    Falanghina, funnily enough, I learned about it from my best friend’s daughter, who traveled to Italy and fell in love with it (before she could legally drink it). I immediately went out to find one.
    It’s funny how wines come into your life. Thanks for bringing back these wonderful memories with your post!

    Liked by 1 person

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