22 February 2009

Free wine

Cilento wines

One of the interesting things about Italy is the regional differences in wines; the type produced can vary over a relatively small geographical area. In the Piceno area we became familiar with several wineries and the production of the local vintages like Rosso Piceno and Falerio as well as those made from ancient varietals like Pecornio and Passerina. These last two are grown in a small area and relatively unknown outside of that small part of Italy.

We have been exploring for some of the local varietals here in the Cilento area. Finding local wineries has not been easy as the local stores seem to carry labels from other parts of Campania and Italy but with some web searching we located a couple close by. We have visited three so far and with each one we have been able to learn a little more about the vintages like Cilento Rosso and Bianco, Aglianico and the ancient varietal Piedirosso (literally translated as “red feet”).

Since February is the season when few visitors are expected, or seen, the owners at each have been very friendly and informative. Our discussions range from the local offerings to American politics and even the legendary John Wayne, one of my favorite actors. Valerie’s language skills certainly assist in our interaction and each has been a source of information we would probably not find elsewhere.

Another benefit we have found of our off-season visits is that each winery has given us a free bottle of wine, not allowing us to pay for the bottle they open for a tasting or the one we choose to take home with us. So far we are three for three…we’ll see if that continues as we search out and visit other wineries in the Cilento area.

Some local wineries to try if you are in the area...


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