Thursday, April 05, 2007

Falanghina – White Wine from Campania – Heritage disputed

A wine lover’s dream, Falanghina is a balanced and savory white wine. When dining in Lazio and Campania the wine served on your table will most likely be a Greco di Tufo or a Falanghina. Today it is accepted, among Italian professionals of the wine industry, that Falaghina is an autochthon wine of Campania. This does not mean that wine lovers and local growers from many southern regions agree. The war over Falanghina reached its peak in the late 1980s as numerous growers and regional associations claimed the rights to Falanghina. Campania raised its shields and took a defensive posture but the questions were valid. Strangely enough Falanghina does not appear in ancient texts. It is as if Falanghina, during the Roman Empire known as Falernum Gauranum, was merely a people’s wine not worthy of the tables of the nobility.

On May 11th, 1990, the province of Benevento proved that Falanghina was, in fact, part of its culture and history. The local farmers showed limited exuberance, exclaiming simply, “Falanghina is ours!” Fortunately a few winemakers showed more vision and tenacity. Falanghina had become an addition to other wines, no longer the protagonist in its own right. Now that the origin of Falaghina was determined they revived the failing vineyards and instituted the antique procedures necessary to the production of the Falanghina of Campania. Sennio Beneventano and Campi Flegrei were among the producers who invested, let’s say even gambled, their fortunes on Falanghina. The long process of restoring this grape to its original status lasted almost 10 years. Numerous wines were introduced resulting in a wide variety of Falanghina with slight variances due to the local method of production or a slightly different blend but with Falanghina as the Prima Donna.

Falanghina is fresh and dry while encompassing the mouth with its balanced flavor. This makes it an appropriate wine for dishes with mollusks, grilled and fried fish, Calamari in sauce, and, for the traditionalists, Mozzarella di Bufala.

Grape: 90% Falanghina, 10% other white grapes grown in the region (most DOC and DOCG will produce a 100% Falanghina wine).

Color: Hay Yellow with green highlights.

Bouquet: Cut Flowers and Green Fruit.

Flavor: Persistent taste of Granny Apples.

Alcohol: Minimum 11% to 12.5%.

Serving Temperature: 8-10 c.

Glass: White wine glass.


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Blogger Tracie P. said...

yay falanghina! you are a-speakin to my heart. i was in austin last week and went to vino vino, a new wine store on guadalupe. they had a tasting of a campi flegrei falanghina. can you believe that? that is indeed my new favorite place.

9:40 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Tracie b As IWG confirmed, Campania wines are becoming more and more exciting!

12:00 PM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

i think it's a combination of becoming more exciting (i.e. more attention to quality vs quantity by the growers) AND that people are finally seeing the southern light.

12:49 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Tracie b. Quality over Quantity is always the way to go. Passion sells (almost as well as sex!)

1:10 PM

Blogger David's wife said...

As a family member of a producer (Castello Ducale) I alpplaud your good taste!

1:09 PM


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