Greco di Tufo DOCG
Greco di Tufo is one of my fave whites from Southern Italy. It's fresh and zesty with minerality, which equals, in my book, absolutely delightful wine. Unfortunately, it's hard to find clean wines from Campania, at least in Texas. Maybe that will change. A girl can dream.
Text below translated from: del Canuto, Francesco et al., Il vino italiano, panorama vitivinicolo attraverso le denominazioni di origine, Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (Bertani & C.), Milano, 2010 (2002), fourth edition.
Recognized as a DOCG 7/18/03
Production Zone: including the townships of Altavilla Irpina, Chianche, Prato di Principato Ultra, Montefusco, Ptruro Irpino, Santa Paolina, Tufo and Torioni, all in the province of Avellino
Yield: max 10 tons per hectare
Grape Varieties: greco; coda di volpe is allowed up to 15%
Minimum alcohol: 11.5%
Aging Potential: within 1-3 years
The production zone for Greco di Tufo is in the heart of Irpinia.** In this region one finds sulfur mines, tufo quarries, and a land of vineyards alternating with forests.
Greco di Tufo is an appellation that is constantly improving with more modern techniques in the vineyard and in the winery. A bit of time spent in barrique will can also make this a wine of great potential.***
A young Greco di Tufo pairs well with raw shellfish, baked fish, dried pasta with vegetable sauces, spaghetti with squid ink or shellfish, and flavorful side dishes such as eggplants and broccoli raab (HAY!). When the wine is more mature and rich in personality, it can be paired with grilled mackerel, fish stew, and generally more elaborate dishes. The spumante, made in the Martinotti (Charmat) method, is also very pleasant, aromatic, and interesting.
**The name of the region, Irpinia, is taken from hirpus, the Oscan word for wolf. The Oscans were from Umbria and their language was the language of Southern Italy under the Roman republic. I pretty much ripped this from Wikipedia, so if you find this history as fascinating as I do, just mosey on over to the site to dig deeper. Or just ask my DoBianchi, he probably already has a doctorate in it.
***You must know that this was difficult to translate. I mean, as in gritting my teeth over the woodiness of it all. I, in no way support beating greco over the head with barrique and malolactic fermentation, but we all know that it is a trend in Italia (that NOT all follow!) to make a wine "important" by aging it in wood. You can see old rant here. I hope the trend will pass. Until then, I will.