Southern Italy's New Wave Whites
Italy is a land of contradictions, and as Italians love to declare, this is part of the country’s fascino, or charm.
The country’s new breed of white wines is a perfect example.
At first glance, you’d expect whites from the country’s deep south, known for its Mediterranean climate and constant sunshine, to be powerfully structured, with superripe fruit, high alcohol levels and low acidity.
While this used to be true of many bottlings, today the whites from select denominations in Campania and Sicily boast the complexity and minerality often associated with cool climates.
Winemakers now focus on indigenous grapes, which have adapted to the region’s climate over hundreds or thousands of years.
“Rather than make wines geared for international palates that taste like they could be made anywhere, we want to make wines that express Campania’s native grapes and our unique terroir by identifying the best vineyard sites, harvesting at the right moment and using less invasive cellar techniques,” says Antonio Capaldo, president of leading Campania firm Feudi di San Gregorio.
Here’s a breakdown of Italy’s southern whites that should be on your table this summer.
Photos by Todd Huffman