Vesevo Beneventano Falanghina
Vesevo Beneventano Falanghina, low temperature fermentation has retained the fresh, crisp and aromatic quality of the wine whilst still allowing its character to shine through.
Vesevo Beneventano Falanghina, has perfumes of white flowers and white melon with mineral notes provide a backdrop to the full, ripe palate and lift the finish, an elegant wine, with a touch of honey on the finish
Vesevo in the Irpinian hills of Campania. Known as the ’Switzerland of the South’, this is potentially one of Italy’s most exciting wine producing areas.
The vineyards are situated at between 450-700m above sea level, and are subject to a constant cool breeze that blows off the Bay of Naples.
Over the centuries, this same breeze has blown volcanic ash from Vesuvius inland to give the soil here a poor, volcanic character. The flavours obtained in the vineyard are then preserved in the winery by Marco Flacco.
“Falanghina is light enough for lunch, fresh enough to drink in the garden and tangy enough to sip with food.
It tastes good with tomato-heavy Neapolitan dishes: imagine spaghetti soaked in the juice of raw cherry tomatoes, garlic and herbs; or tomatoes baked with marjoram, parsley and breadcrumbs. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/wine/8539159/Falanghina-wine-review.html
It’s a joy with fish, too: scallops fried until they just begin to caramelise, fritti misti, fresh squid with lemon juice squeezed over it, blackened on the barbecue and tangled up with rocket, dressed crab”
Falanghina has not always been highly appreciated. It was once regarded as being rather dull: “flat and unperfumed”, as one winemaker happily put it. The grape flourishes in Irpinia (the name is derived from an old word for the wolves that once roamed through these hills), an area in Campania, just to the east of Naples.
Along with a clutch of other indigenous grapes, it has been preserved by the very isolation of the place in which it’s grown. It can also be found further south, in Basilicata and Puglia.
Besides geography – the climate, the rich, minerally volcanic soil around Vesuvius – falanghina owes its survival to a typically fierce Italian pride in what’s local. I always think it says a lot about the Italian mindset that paese is the word for both ”a village’’ and ”a country’’; on this peninsula, even someone from the next hamlet is a foreigner.
Italians have also resisted, more than most, the notion that vineyard owners should rip out intriguing and unusual local grapes to plant international varieties such as chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon instead, just because more people have heard of them. “I don’t think much of ‘merlotisation’,” as one put it to me once, screwing up his face.
Falanghina began to improve in the late 20th century as it was better understood; investment in the vineyard and better winemaking techniques have transformed this once-unadmired grape, teasing out its beautiful fragrance and vibrant orange-peel inflections.
It’s unbaked and easy to drink, yet lifted by that distinctive citrus tang. If you like it, and want to try a more intense version, go to an independent wine merchant – they have been selling more expensive falanghina for longer – or go to and look for wines from producers such as Vesevo or Feudi di San Gregorio.
As you rise up the quality scale, the orange seems to grow stronger, and layers of acacia honey and lime come into play, along with candied peel and crystallised fruit. Just the thing for a glass of white in the sunshine.
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