- Campania, Italy
For many travelers and wine lovers, an exploration of Italy often begins in Tuscany. Venture further south, and as an intrepid wine seeker you’ll find a home in the Campania region. Campania is rich in history and possesses a similar romantic allure, delivering its own special wines in the hills, and of course, the famous beaches along the Amalfi Coast.
Italian wines are recognized around the world, but it is the specific personality of each region and commune that makes them all exciting to explore. It is here, in the Irpinia region, where the ancient Greeks began cultivating grape varieties suited to the volcanic soils before the Roman Empire had even begun. Within the Irpinia region resides three of the south’s most important DOCG’s.
Vicus, in Latin, means “village,” a fitting name for these unique, small production wines. The story of Vicus is a small but remarkably diverse range of wines that are a genuine expression of Campania’s unique terroir.
In Sant’Angelo all’Esca, the Pepe family produce the Vicus wines from local grapes: Fiano, Greco, Falanghina, and Aglianico. The red wine, Aglianico is the most complex and noble red grape south of Rome, but it’s the white wines that steel the spotlight. These ‘yellow’ grapes in Campania yield wines of deep color with body and rich texture. The growers and winemakers of this area take great pride in the color of these rich and savory indigenous wines.
The Pepe family is an ancient one in this region of Irpinia, the heart of winemaking country in Campania. The presence of the Pepe family in Irpinia can be traced back to the 13th century. Angelo Pepe has taken great steps to improve the quality and help build growing interest in this region’s natural beauty. So much so, that in 1998 he was knighted by the president of Italy, ‘Cavaliere della Republica per meriti sul Lavoro’ or ‘Knight of the Republic’, and hence the name Cavalier Pepe.
To some, the grapes may seem obtuse, remnants from ancient Greek settlers that still cling to the land. For us at Uva Import’s, these wines epitomize the goal of sourcing only from small, family farmed vineyards who express the true character, history, and terroir of their region.
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