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A visit to the Sannio Campania Appellation

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Today i drove through the Sannio region. Another well known Campania wine appellation.

As i approached SantAgata dei Goti , a small very quaint medieval hamlet , driving through winding roads surrounded by olive trees and vineyards...I was in awe as the view was just beautiful and very relaxing.

This is Aglianico and Falanghina land.. the latter a very different grape from the ubiquitous one in Naples and Campi Flegrei region; despite carrying the same name .. the grapes are truly different from each other.

Mustilli was credited to have brought back an almost extinct Falanghina in the Sannio region. Today it is synonymous of a great white wine .. well balanced and structured.

I visited Mustilli winery right in the center of Santa Agata dei Goti .. after a very nice walk through this old town and its narrow streets. The town is the birthplace of Bill De Blasio family .. the New York City mayor ....a big pride here ...

As the large gate opened in the Mustilli estate .. you could see the multi generation heritage .. like the time was moving much slower ....almost against the relativity theory.. the silence was only broken by the hard breathing of an old black dog.

The wines I tasted were absolutely great ( see my tasting notes of one of them) .. an harmonious melody of all the components in perfect balance. Aglianico , a completely different wine from its Irpinia expression ... smooth on the palate with tannins just a pleasant perception.

Falanghina with a full body, well structured and long persistent finishes.

The town surrounded by high Mountains ranges ( Taburno) makes you quickly realize why once again Phylloxera spared this area ... away from the noisy cities .. and why it is blessed by a great terroir. ....

Welcome to Santa Agata dei Goti

After Santa Agata dei Goti we continued our visit in the Sannio area, visiting the winery Del Vecchio. We were welcomed by a great host ... Mr Del Vecchio himself who offered to show us around and to witness the crashing and de-stemming phase of the Falanghina and Aglianico wine making process. This winery is one of the largest producer of bulk wine in the area, providing wine to many bottlers who then create their own labels.

Finally we reached the Taburno Mountain through winding roads of Olive trees and vineyards. Looking at the rocky summit at 4500 feet ... dominating this beautiful Campania appellation.

This area is the proud producer of one of the four Campania DOCG wines ... the Aglianico del Taburno DOCG.

As the sun was starting its descend in a cloud cover sunset , i finally approached the winery Masseria Frattasi in Montesarchio... a quaint small medieval hamlet.

The narrow roads over old pavers sent chills in my spine. But the trip was worth it.. the winery in existence since 1778 was beautiful... set between Taburno’s Summit , Montesarchio view of the hill with its castle and the medieval tower.

I was welcomed by the son of the owner ( the director of the ROMA .. a well known Neapolitan newspaper) who having inherited this family estate ... decided to continue the family tradition with a substantial expansion .. bringing its production from 40,000 bottles to over 200,000 bottles per year.

The expansion included the lease of a small land parcel in Capri .. which allowed the production of the quite expensive )€80 Capri wine.

Walking through the vineyards in a very important time of the year .. Harvest time .. the grapes already fully ripe almost asking to be harvested to become great wine.

Some harvest already happened as i observed a large truck pulling over to bring the grapes to the first phase of production... i learned it was due to the wild boars that decided that after dinner they truly enjoyed sweet grapes ...

Masseria Frassati was awarded the best Italian red wine title by Luca Maroni in 2017 with their KAPNIOS wine .. an Aglianico produced using the appassimento method before fermentation .. an Amarone of the South made with Aglianico grapes instead of Rondinella and Corvina ( the typical grapes from Veneto).

My tasting notes on this wines will follow.

As i tasted these magnificent wines i was left in awe looking at how Mather Nature have kissed this area i couldn’t stop thinking of the perfect hospitality.

Welcome to Masseria Frattasi in Montesarchio


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