The history of the enology of Campania presumably begins with the arrival of the Greeks who, in the 8th century BC, introduced the seeds of vitis vinifera (the common grape vine) in the region. The origin of the main autochthonous grapes of Campania (Aglianico, Greco, Fiano, Falanghina, Biancolella, Piedirosso) is Greek.
The area of Campania is predominantly hilly (over 50%) and mountainous (over 30%), this has certainly favoured the cultivation of the vine, thanks to a mild and ventilated climate in the coastal area, and continental in the Apennines.
In Campania the volcanic activity has generated over time (we talk about centuries and millennia) the formation of magmatic, dark and friable soils rich in potassium. The eruptions of Vesuvius also helped to cover the calcareous soils with large amounts of ash, enriching them with minerals.
The Lacryma Christi (Tears of Christ) is a wine that received the AOP in 1983 and is produced in the three varieties: white, red and rose. According to the production disciplinary this wine must be produced exclusively with grapes of the variety Coda di Volpe (Fox tail) for the white wine and Piedirosso (in dialect per’e palummo= pigeons paws) for the red wine. The grapes can only be grown in 15 municipalities in the province of Naples, the production disciplinary also provides for a gradation of 12 degrees.
We decided to title this article Lacryma Christi: between history and myth, because the legend that hides behind its name, perhaps better encloses the culture of this region: the ancient history deeply linked with religion.
Lacryma Christi: between history and myth because according to Aristotle, the cultivation of vines that climb the slope of Vesuvius descends from the ancient Greek people of Thessalians, present mainly near Torre del Greco from the 5th century BC. After the advent of Christianity, the Jesuit fathers who lived in this area continue to cultivate the “Greek wine” and then they became almost exclusive producers.
Lacryma Christi: between history and myth because the Neapolitan tradition has its roots in historical realities surrounded by legendary tales. The most fascinating is definitively the one according to which Lucifer, the angel expelled from the Paradise, stole a piece of it and, during his fall in the Underworld, created the Gulf of Naples. From the chasm that he left behind, Vesuvius would then rise. Jesus recognized in the Gulf of Naples that piece of Paradise and wept sorrowful for that theft. Where his tears fell, the soil became so fertile as to house the first Vesuvian vines.
We end this article with this legendary atmosphere, if we have intrigued you, we invite you to a tasting of this wine during the tour View on the Gulf. We suggest you to take a look at the articles Below sea level,