Province of Caserta
Owners: Maria Ida & Salvatore Avallone
Winemakers: Fabio Gennarelli & Riccardo Cotarella
Production: 700,000 bottles
Hectares under vine: 120
In the 1950s, Francesco Avallone, a successful young lawyer in Naples, set out on a unique mission to bring back to life the ‘immortal Falerno’ sung by the great poets of ancient Rome. The wine, Italy’s oldest, is recorded back to the first century A.D., but phylloxera wiped out the production in the late 1800s. In synergy with the University of Naples, his research team found the best surviving vines and patiently grafted cuttings onto new rootstock, obtaining twenty original clones of Falanghina, Aglianico and Piedirosso. The estate’s first official vintage was 1976 and the wines are styled by Riccardo Cotarella, the leading consulting oenologist in southern Italy.
Today, Salvatore and Maria Ida Avallone manage vineyards across three distinct estates:
- Parco Nuovo and San Castrese in Caserta produce 90% of the Falerno appellation’s total production and are surrounded by the Massico hills that were formed by the ancient eruptions of the nearby volcano of Roccamonfina. Falerno Bianco, made from Falanghina, is fruity and floral with aromas of pear, grapefruit and peach. Caracci, Falanghina from a single vineyard planted in 1968, is aged in barrique and full of ripe tropical fruit with a silky, honeyed palate and a long finish.
- Rocca dei Leoni in the inland province of Benevento is home to old vine Falanghina and Aglianico, with different clones to those in Caserta. Here the soil is volcanic and rich in phosphorous and potassium.
- Altavilla is located within the prestigious DOCG of Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo.