The Wonderful White Wines Of Irpinia, Italy

Dec 05, 2023 631

BY: John Mariani

This fall I was asked to gives a series of lectures on Italian food and wines onboard a sailing ship plying the Tyrrhenian Sea off the western coast of Italy. Since I wanted to tie in my lecture to the regional ports we were visiting in the south, I showcased the wines of Irpinia in the region of Campania, with wines provided onboard by the Consorzio di tutela dei vini d’Irpinia.

Some bottlings I already knew, at least by producer, but I was newly impressed by the high quality and distinctiveness of the wines, especially the whites, which I would rank among the finest now being made in Italy. Irpinia, which takes its name from an ancient word for wolf, still used as its provincial symbol, is a volcanic area, divided by the Apennine mountains, whose soils and changing climate—hot days and cool nights—add measurably to the mineral taste of the wines. 

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