Terredora Winery about 1 1/2 hours outside of Naples. One of the private events included in our Touring and Tasting Mediterranean wine cruise was to see this acclaimed winery--a special treat in Italy because they do not have tasting rooms like we have in the USA. Wineries are usually family run and wholesale only--one can't just show up at the door and ask to taste wine. Through Vias Imports, an international wine distributor, Touring and Tasting was able to arrange an exclusive visit. Terradora went out of their way with a beautiful set-up, including a delicious lunch of fresh baked pizza and sandwiches.
The wine region of Campagnia is one of the oldest viticultural areas in the world, with a history that stretches back to the Greeks who occupied the land from 800 B.C. The rich volcanic soils of Mt. Vesuvius, the cool climate from the elevation of the hills, plus ample sunshine provides the perfect terroir for growing tremendous wine grapes. The same varietals have been growing here for 2,800 years: the red grapes Aglianico, and Piederosso and the white Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino Coda di Volpe and Falanghino. The winery is reknown for two red blends: the D.O.C.G. Taurasi which is mostly Aglianico and Lacrima Christi which means "Tears Of Christ". According to our guide, when Christ looked at the "little piece of heaven" that is the Campagnia region and saw how sinful the Napolitanos (residents of Naples) were, he cried tears of blood. Interestingly, Lacrima Christi wine is either red (made from 100% Piederosso grapes) or white (100% Coda di Volpe).
Terredora Winery has been receiving 90-95 ratings and a lot of attention recently, including being named as one of the "50 Great Producers In The World" by Wine Spectator (see the video here). With their current production of 1.2 million bottles and distribution through Vias, they will surely start appearing on more wine lists and wine stores because their hand-picked, estate grapes are crafted into wines of finesse with flavors and aromas unlike anything else I've tasted. There is a pronounced minerality and strong acidity balanced perfectly with rounded, ripe fruit. Unlike other area wineries who own less than 50% of their vineyards, Terredora owns 90% of theirs and they are committed to estate grown, hand-picked, estate bottled wines, many single vineyard designated. Terredora is the largest vineyard owner in Campagnia, with 200 hectares. Their vineyards are: Terre di Dora and CampoRe planted to the Fiano grape (Fiano from the former vineyard winning multiple medals at the prestigious International Wine Competition), Terre deli Angeli, Loggia della Serra and Pioppo del Cappuccino planted to Greco di Tufo, CampoRe planted to Aglianico, Casalia della Baronia planted to Aglianica and Falanghina (this vineyard produces their Il Principio red blend), and the vineyards Pietrafusi and Venticano planted to Aglianico. Our tasting was of the following Terredora wines:
2010 Falanghina, Irpinia; a D.O.C. wine:
100% Falanghina aged on its lees in stainless steel with no oak for a highly aromatic white wine with bright acidity and intense pineapple, apple and pear flavors. Clean and fresh on the palate, a truly lovely wine.
100% Greco di Tufo cool fermented in stainless steel, aged on its lees for a lively, tangy white wine with intense minerality and citrus and apple fruit. Unlike any other varietal I've tasted--I'd love to serve this wine often with creamy sauces and grilled fish.
100% Fiano cool fermented and aged on its lees for a highly aromatic, dry white wine with a bit of spice finished with honey. This white can be aged 10-15 years. The favorite of many in our group.
2009 Aglianico, Campania; a I.G.T wine:
100% Aglianico macerated on the skins for a week; part aged 6 months in French oak for a complex, powerful red wine bursting with dark cherry, violet, ash, spice, ripe plum and vanilla tannin flavors.
100% Aglianico macerated on the skins for a week, aged in French oak 18 months, aged in bottle an additional 24 months for an intense, powerful red wine with a full mouth of dark cherry, tobacco, mineral, and smoke with a violet aroma. A structured, complex, distinguished, well-crafted wine on par with a Barolo.
Drove back to the port and our waiting cruise ship through the verdant Campagnia hills, a patchwork quilt with stripes of vineyards, tufted patches of hazelnut groves and the pastel splashes of houses and villas after our wine adventure. We pulled away from the dock and looked back, past the glistening ocean to this enormous anvil-shaped cloud over Mt. Vesuvius. We passed the island of Capri and this morning (Sunday) navigated the narrow strait between the boot of Italy and the island of Sicily. We're on the way to Dubrovnik, Croatia with a "sea day" tomorrow. We'll look forward to the onboard Rodney Strong wine tasting of four of their Reserve and single-vineyard wines.