Avellino province, Campania, Italy: What to drink, and where to live?
In 6 weeks, I am going on a culinary trip to this region. I have already arranged to visit two aziende: Struzzerio and Lonardo. But:
1) Are there any other wine producers that are especially recommendable?
2) Any other tips, on special cheeses, restaurants, etc?
3) I have tried to find self-catering accomodation in the province of Avellino (we are ten people, including children, and would like to cook some long and ambitious dinners on our own). That is, evidently, not easy. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?
I must add that there are a lot of wineries in Campania. The issue is not whether you can find great wine or a great restaurant, but how much time you have and the distance you have to travel. These wineries are spread apart. Try to tackle those few that are in close proximity, so you can have a pleasurable trip. I can tell you from experience that driving from one end of Campania to the other can make you very crabby.
And when it comes to Fiano di Avellino DOCG, Macchialupa is the best. Hands down. Even local producers will tell you that, but then isn't wine subjective?
Thank you all for wonderful tips. Just one more thing - how "out of season" wil we be around 25th october.
I noticed that some excellent restaurants, such as La locanda di Aurora only serves lunch upon reservation.... Not that that is really a problem - we will be 9 adults and 4 children - but I still wonder.
excellent trip! wow... would love to be back in the South soon...
A great site to find self catering accomodation is homelidays.com
On wines, pls note that sometimes IGT wines (so not 'official' docg) can be great as well - it al depends, as always with wine, on the producer.
Great wineries include Feudo di San Gregorio, Mastroberardino, Montevetrano, Terredora, Pietracupa, Villa Matilde, Lavoro, Conciliis, Maffini, and more...
Indeed Taurasi is great. Do explore it, these can be great, great wines, and they are not taht famnous yet, so the beest are relative bargains... Often they cellar very well. Red from the aglianico grape gives you (rom the hands of an able grower & producer) noble, powerfull wines. Barolo, Tuscan Sangiovese, and the great Southern aglianico's are the great reds of Italy. Actually, there are some findings that link this grape to the nebbiolo, and lore has it that Caesar's troops carried this grape to the Piedmonte, where it adjusted. Personnaly I have, before hearing of these theories, felt that the best wines from these 'weatherwise' different regions share some clear simmilarities... so, we'll need to awaite dna profiling to know for sure... all in all it can be great wine!
Just a week ago I tasted an excellent example, though I cannot find my notes...I'll get back to you shortly one this one...
For example the highest Falerno wines (as made by Villa Matilde and others - Falerno once being the Roman emperors' favourites...) show this (the reds).
Personnaly I like the fruity, flowery whites from the falanghina grape a lot as well - most often they have a pleasant acidity, which is quite a feat in the hot South.
Another 'not to miss' is the greco di tufo - a wine know for its structure, which sometimes makes one think of white Rhone. Personally I find it often missing in distinctive aromatics...
Fiano is the white grape of avellino, and gives you an almost waxy, quite structured, delicately aromatic white. If you like it, you love it... Fattoria di Rivolta makes a nice one for example. By the way: the most 'famous' fiano is from Sicily: the Cometa made by Planeta.
May I say something more ?
The very typical cheese of Irpinia is Carmasciano, not so easy to find and excellent.
If you go to Nusco, have dinner at La Locanda di Bù. The chef patron is Antonio Pisaniello, one of the best chef of South Italy and tell him that you want to taste Carmasciano and maybe also Caciocavallo Podolico.
The lamb with the fuzzy tail is Laticauda, and by the way, Pisaniello can cook it very well.
The wineries Montevetrano, Villa Matilde, de Conciliis and Maffini, are not in Irpinia but, Villa Matilde in the area named Massico, at the edge with Lazio on the coast, close to the dead vulcano of Roccamonfina.
Montevetrano in the back of Paestum area and Maffini and de Conciliis in Cilento, the Southern part, along the coast, of Campania.
The matter between the grapes Aglianico and the grapes Nebbiolo is also that until few years ago, before than the winemakers of Aglianico began to understand how big hidden treasure they had in their grounds, in this period, just before the harvest, oh my God but how many and many and many, I should say hundreds of trucks full of Aglianico grapes had their travel from this area to the Barolo area and during the travel, do you see which a miracle can do, the grapes change their breed and they become Nebbiolo grapes.
About the most famous Fiano, I am sorry but I disagree with Willem and, in my opinion the most famous Fiano is the Fiano made in Irpinia by these local and very ancient grapes. The best little area of Fiano, in my opinion, is Lapio, a cute small hill town in Irpinia and the winery is Clelia Romano.
Planeta began to make Fiano only few years ago.
I know Irpinia very well. For three years I was the marketing manager of the most important winery of Irpinia.
Yes I do! You should go and see Antonio Caggiano. Go in the morning. If he can't give you the tour, his son can. Neither speak English.
-20 minutes from him and 5 minutes from Montefusco is Terredora. Luccio Mastroberadino and Gaetano who works in the office speak English. http://www.terredora.net/
-Down the street from them is a beautiful restaurant/compound called "La locanda di Aurora". It is a large family home that has had the first 2 floors converted into a restaurant. The Ferrara-Cerza family has lived there for 400 yrs and Paolo speaks English. You won't be disapointed. http://www.lalocandadiaurora.it/
-There is an American who sets up wine, culinary tours of this area. She speaks dialect and has a lot of experience. Write to Paolo through the website and he can give you her information.
-Caciocavallo is the prized cheese.
-Cinghiale is the prized black boar
-Lamb (with the fuzzy tail...can't remember what it is called
)-Some wineries that would be worth it are: Di Meo, Feudi di San Gregorio (they are ten minutes from each other and very different), Macchialupa (near Paolo and Terredora), and Di Marzo and Benito Ferrara in Tufo.
Have a great time!
For food and winery reccomendations, Carla Capalba's book on Campania is excellent.
Here is a link to another source of local information http://www.lucianopignataro.com/index...
If you do a search for avellino case vacanza you will get lots of hits for villa type rentals in the region - you may also want to explore agriturismos which are increasing in number and frequently offer fine meals (if wanted) as well as lodging, or ask the wineries you are contacting about possible rental houses.
There has been some talk about this area over the years about the wonderful food in Avellino/Irpino. If you use the google search of the old Chowhound International Board and put in Campania, Avellino or Irpino, I think you will come up with some of these.
Slowfood too, of course - they have several high recommendations in this area.
I found the food and wines of Campania to be inspirational and miles from the "neapolitan" style italian food we get in the US. Dont skip Naples, its a wonderful city with wonderful food.
In Taurasi do not miss the winery of Antonio Caggiano. He makes very good wines and, sure the three DOCG: Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo and Taurasi. But . . . but . . do not miss his dessert wine named Mel. In my opinion, one of the best dessert wine in the world, no joke.