Wine Wednesday: Campania Memories

This wine Wednesday falls on the day known as the Immaculate Conception. It is a National holiday in Italy. I just found out that this is a holiday that became enshrined in doctrine only in the mid 1850s.

Campania seems like the perfect place to celebrate this holiday with all the drama that is Naples. Another reason I am thinking of Naples is their cult of the creche.

The creche of the Presepio as it is called in Italy is a nativity scene. It started with figures from the Holy Family but soon branched out to add colorful scenes of everyday life in Naples with local characters represented in figurines. This tradition began in the 1700s in Campania. At first it was the province only of the wealthy but by the mid 1800s it was commonplace to find families from all different social stratum creating creches at Christmas. It is a family activity and people of all ages work on the presepio together.

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A former colleague Giancarlo who was originally from Naples but whom I met when living and working in Milan, used to have running water and electricity in his creche. It was incredible. He would spend weeks making it and everything had to be perfect.

Today’s winery is Masseria Frattasi run by the Cecere and Clemente families that have been farming this area since 1576 at the foot of Taburno mountain with its volcanic soils.

Made from 100% Aglianico, their wine called Aglianico Benevantano IGP Kapnios is a wine obtained with the practice of drying grapes. The Greek name capnios comes from smoked. Already present in Campania three millennia ago, the drying of the grapes in the sun produces the smoky flavor, hence the Greek name. Aged in French oak barriques, first passage, for 18 months and then aged for a period in bottle before release. It is brought to the US by Enotria.

I picked this wine for today’s post because it was special and particular, intense and dramatic, much like Naples.

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