As long as I lived in Campania, I was always intrigued by the areas of Irpinia and Sannio. They are rich with an ancient history of Oscans, Samnites, and Hirpini that I find fascinating. The mountains of Irpinia, set with pine trees and chestnuts are ones that I hope to have to opportunity to explore in depth sometime in the future with my DoBianchi.
Text below adapted 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.
DOC recognized 9/13/05
Production Zone: includes all areas adequate for grape growing in the province of Avellino.
Subzone: Campi Taurasini: includes all areas in the townships of Taurasi, Bonito, Castelfranci, Castelvetere sul Calore, Fontanarosa, Lapio, Luogosano, Mirabella Eclano, Montefalcione, Montemarano, Montemiletto, Paternopoli, Pietradifusi, Sant'Angelo all'Esca, San Magno sul Calore, Torre le Nocelle, Venticano, Gesualdo, Villamaina, Torella dei Lombardi, Grottaminarda, Melito Irpino, Nusco, and Chiusano San Domenico
WHITE: Greco 40-50%, Fiano 40-50%, others permitted up to 20%
[Varieties permitted on label are as follows]: (min 85%) Coda di Volpe, Falanghina, Fiano, Greco
Other types: Passito from Greco and Fiano with a minimum of 7 months aging and alcohol at 12.5%; Classic method** Spumante using Fiano and Greco with a min alcohol of 11.5% is released after 20 months from October 1st of the most recent harvest year.
RED: Aglianico min 70%, others permitted up to 30%
[Varieties permitted on label are as follows]: (min 85%) Aglianico, Sciascinoso, Piedirosso
SUBZONE Campi Taurasini: min 85% Aglianico
Other types: Rosato and novello (same as rosso); Passito and fortified made from a min 85% Aglianico, with a minimum of 7 months and 11 months aging, respectively
Aging Potential: whites 1-2 years; rosato, spumante, and novello 1 year; reds, passitos, and fortified 2-5 years
Campania has been awarded with a new DOC, the 17th in the region and the only DOC in the province of Avellino. Irpinia has always been a land rich in vineyards. The appellation is divided by the Apennine mountain range that runs from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Adratic Sea. Its land possesses a unique, mineral-rich volcanic soil. Because of this, and the climate which varies from one zone to the next, from its origins this appellation has been capable of producing the great wines long exalted by historians and poets alike.
Irpinia DOC, beyond having the task of raising awareness of the viticultural value of the appellation, also serves as an umbrella DOC for the three already recognized DOCGs of Taurasi, Greco di Tufo, and Fiano di Avellino.
**Classic/Traditional Method (Metodo Classico, in Italian) or Methode Champenoise is the process by which fermented wine is placed in a bottle with added yeasts and sugar to induce a second fermentation. As the wine ferments, carbon dioxide is created. It is dissolved throughout the bottle and escapes, creating bubbles when the bottle is opened. This is quite labor intensive and results in a wine with much more complexity than one created using the Charmat Method (wherin 2nd fermentation takes place in large vats).