Napoli Unplugged Contributor Joel Mack
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By Joel Mack © 2009
Reprinted with Permission

I suggest a word collage to set the mood:

Falanga.Ancient grapes before mount vesuvius destroyed pompeii. 79AD. years of voL cANic ash soaring. falling. archeoloGHistory sand limestone mIN erAlity.


By the beginning of the 1960’s, an indirect impact of phylloxera on viticulture, war and disinterested vineyard owners had all taken their toll on Falanghina, a varietal indigenous to Italy’s region of Campania. No one was talking about Falanghina. No one, that is, except Franceso Avallone. Avallone was an attorney with a passion for history and a deep interest in the vines which the Romans had grown in Campania centuries before and the wines that they had produced. With property he’d purchased on a volcanic plain north of Naples and by propagating surviving Falanghina, Avallone delivered Falanghina from near anonymous extinction.

The name Falanghina derives from the Latin word “falanga”, a wooden pole, in reference to the manner of cultivation as it known was to the ancients who used wooden poles to train and support the vines. With the feminine diminuative “ina” ending, affectionately: ”little wooden pole”.

Located in the Irpinia region of Campania at Sorbo Serpico and established in 1986, Feudi di San Gregorio is a great champion of varietals native to Campania and Southern Italy. The Feudi wine book is a diverse catalog based upon ancient varietals with wines presented in a updated style showcasing regional terroir while maintaining a vital link with tradition.

Feudi Falanghina Sannio is made of 100% Falanghina produced from a collection of smallish vineyards within the Sannio zone – Ponte, Apice, Torrecuso, Bonea and Montesarchio – from vines planted between 1985 and 1990. The vineyards lie at altitudes of 1,000 to 1,300 feet. Soil is mixed volcanic typical of the area with sand and limestone. The majority of the grapes are sourced from outside growers with whom Feudi has long term contracts of 15+ years. Feudi has stipulated operating policies / practices to which growers must adhere and manages them closely.

Grapes are hand-harvested and moved directly to the winery via refrigerated transport. They are then soft pressed to render only first free run juice. The juice undergoes cold fermentation in stainless steel (without malolactic fermentation).

Tasting Notes / Impressions:

The color is reminiscent of summer straw and you can catch reflective kaleidoscope greens if you look closely enough. Aromas of Granny Smith apples, lime, and flowers on the nose. A sense of creamy tropical fruit – banana, mango – on the palate that finishes firmly with clean citrus and minerals.

Food Pairing Suggestions:

Seafood: grilled or fried fish; sushi, sashimi or maki; seafood risotto; Salads: caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil), “Ceasar” type salads with or without chicken; Pasta: served with an oil base; Poultry; grilled vegetables, mozzarella di bufala.


Joel Mack writes about Italian wine at Vintrospective -> An Italian Wine Blog. As a free lance writer, Joel also contributes content to other Internet and print interests. He conducts specialized seminar tastings featuring the wines of Italy for private and corporate clients and teaches a college level Discover Italy series of wine classes. He has a worked for a celebrated importer / distributor of Italian wines and continues to study the wines of Italy. See all of Joel Mack’s Articles on Napoli Unplugged.

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