Italian viticulture boasts a large number of native varieties and Basilicata, nestled between Calabria, Puglia and Campania, is another jewel of a millenary history. Its tradition dates back to the spread of viticulture by Greek and Phoenician settlers in the Ionian area, the developed with the Romans in the volcanic area of Vulture. It is in the latter the Aglianico del Vulture finds the ideal ampelographic conditions.
Basilicata wine can be divided into three main areas: the Materano, with the hills that slope towards the Ionian Sea, the Agri Valley, in the heart of the region, more precisely in the province of Potenza, and the Vulture, in the north-eastern part.
There are also international vines, which also give excellent results, but Lucanian producers have focused their production mainly on indigenous vines. Although the territory of Basilicata is mainly mountainous and hilly, with a predominantly continental climate that makes the region ideal for white grape varieties, 90% of the production is represented by black grape varieties, first of all Aglianico del Vulture.
Mount Vulture is an inactive volcano and has given rise to soils rich in potassium. These offer freshness and mineral substances to wines, and thanks to the presence of tuff, during the dry summers ensure the vines the right humidity to the vines, in fact here it is said: “the tuff sickles the plants”.
Aglianico del Vulture is THE vine of Basilicata, with over 60% of the vine surface. From its small bunches and berries of an intense ruby red colour, the scent with hints of ripe red fruit, cherry under spirit and liquorice. The passage in barrique can generate toasted notes, but producers anchored to tradition still use large barrels. It is a very long-lived wine, perfect in combination with braised meats, wild game, spicy meats, mature and slightly spiced cheeses such as caciocavallo lucano, or to combine with the typical sausage of this region: the luganega (to learn much more about luganega read the article next week).
If this article has ticked your curiosity about this little Italian jewel, we recommend the tour A flight among Sassi, Castles and Flavours, where you can taste the Aglianico del Vulture wine during a tasting in a wine cellar. To entice your visit this region you can also read The Flight of the Angel and Matera, the city of the Sassi.