Monday, May 16, 2022

Grape Spotlight: Greco di Tufo DOCG from Feudi di San Gregorio

"According to Greek researchers, the broader picture of Italians of 'Greek origin' such as Greco di Tufo, Grecanico, Grechetto actually look to be non-Greek as none of them share visual traits commonly carried by Greek varieties.", 'Greek' grape varieties in Italy not Greek? Jancis Robinson

Greco di Tufo is a DOCG (DOC in 1970; DOCG in 2003) of the Campania wine region in southern Italy and shares the name with the region's predominant grape. The Greco di Tufo grape variety is a clone of Greco Bianco and was once believed to have been introduced to Campania from ancient Greece. However, as stated in the Jancis Robinson article above, that view is strongly debated. 

Although the Greco di Tufo grape also grows in Lazio, it thrives in the tuff-filled, volcanic soil surrounding Tufo and the seven other villages. According to, "the name Tufo refers not only to one of the villages from which the wine comes but also to the type of rock on which the village was built. Known as tuff in English - but distinct from limestone tufa - it is made of ash ejected during an eruption which then compacts.

The vines from which Greco di Tufo wines are made are cultivated at an altitude of 450 to 500 meters (1,310–1,640ft), where the cooler temperatures allow grapes to enjoy the persistent summer sunshine without overheating or having their photosynthesis shut down. This allows them to ripen without losing too much acidity, an effect magnified by the higher diurnal temperature variation here. The best Greco di Tufo vineyards are found on the volcanic hills of the Avellino province in central Campania. Only eight villages can legally claim to make Greco di Tufo: Tufo, Montefusco, Petruro Irpino, Chianche, Torrioni, Altavilla, Irpina and Prata di Principato Ultra".

Over 20 years ago the Capaldo and Ercolino families established Feudi di San Gregorio in the tiny village of Sorbo Serpico in order to produce wines from indigenous grapes well suited to the porous volcanic soils of Mount Vesuvius.  They stress the importance of the microclimate of Irpinia, a historical region of the Campanian Apennines, "where vineyards have always coexisted with fruit trees, woodland, olive trees and herbs: a rugged and yet gentle territory with a strong and genuine identity".  In addition, "Irpinia is an ancient inland whose vineyards were even described by ancient authors such as Pliny, Columella and Strabo. The Irpinia region is very varied, with a succession of mountains, hills and plains with rivers and streams in between. The territory’s orography causes a system of winds that gives the region good rainfall and creates a microclimate that sets it apart from the other Campania areas: vegetation is varied and thick; the short winters are extremely cold and snowy, while the summers are mild and long".

Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo 2020 ($28)
This wine was aged for four months in stainless steel tanks and in contact with its lees at all times. This process creates a richer body that allows the strong citrus profile and minerality to linger throughout the mouthfeel. There's also a hint of herbaceousness that comes worth with the steady acidity.  A beautiful wine. 

No comments: