As we visit some of the regions which we introduced in our lectures , i like to extend some of those in more details as in depth research. On 9/2 i visited Tramonti a little town set on top of Monti Lattari between Naples and the Amalfi Coast few minutes from Ravello.
It is amazing the beautiful landscape of the mountains of Volcanic origin with their unique beauty.
We found century old pre phylloxera vines that looked like trees with the large trunks trained still in the old style Pergola.. the Phoenicians way to allow a “ Promisqua” agriculture given the rugged and hard to find land. Phylloxera never arrived in this area protected by the mountains and above by all their Volcanic and sandy soil.
Tramonti is near the valico di Chiunzi which allows , through the Mountains, the way from Naples to the Amalfi Coast. An area that produces great wines with their own nuances and perfect balance with acidity and tannins. In Naples we left 90 degree temperatures we were welcomed by 70s in Tramonti.
Even 60s when we left soon after the sunset. The diurnal temperature swings explain how the balance in their wines can be preserved.
You can also feel the sea breeze coming from the Amalfi coast and their salty air which brings that great minerality to the the wines.
As we admire the old vines with the respect only given to old people.. spared by the killer phylloxera producing nectars for the gods. We met great wine producers .. old family owned wineries some of them from 2-3 generations. Their passion is just infectious , their rugged faces , their belief and love in the wines they produce ; almost like their own children.
Tenuta San Francesco and his great host Gaetano Bove , invited us to try his wines and to visit his vineyards with century olds vines. Great hospitality as he was also entertaining some other American guests from California. So he was surprised and happy to speak to us in Neapolitan dialect and in Italian. A small producing winery with four passionate owners and a 50,000 bottles production. Some great RISERVA with their TINTORE grape , unique to this area .. a grape you cannot find anywhere else on the planet. His “E’ ISS” Which in Neapolitan dialect means “ its HIM” is a perfect example of what Tramonti can produce .. a lighter body in this case which resemble a good Pinot Noir.
As we moved higher in the Mountains we met Giuseppe Apicella , his son graduated from the enology school in Turin ( the Nebbiolo region) and fought to show to the world that his native TINTORE was not just Aglianico as the wine politicians wanted to dismiss the easy way.. but rather its own pre phylloxera century old grape .. only found in Tramonti. His passionate fight with the DNA proving his reasons allowed the recognition of this grape in the world registry.
As we set to their table and tasted their wonderful wines made by these old vines .. Ohhh nectars .. away from any industrial making .. just great great wines. We spoke about life .. eating local breads and cheeses and salami ... as the night fell and reminded us the drive through the winding roads thousands of feet in the air. As we drove down those roads on a perfect September night .. we stopped in awe .. to look at Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the dark .. with all the sparkling lights ... All from a different unusual angle.
Tramonti is a perfect example of what Campania wines can produce .. Truly great whites , refreshing , with a medium and long persistence and also absolutely astonishing reds with their own indigenous grapes like TINTORE deep ruby color and tannins which allow these wines to be aged for tens of years without losing their bouquets.
Tramonti ; as we enjoy the view and hear the sheeps greet us... No cars , no noises.. just the silence of Mother Nature which reminds us of the greatest gift that GOD has granted us.. our beautiful land, our beautiful planet and the fruits it produces with the hard work of who believes ..
Welcome to Tramonti
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