Italy produces some of the most exceptional wines of the world, where wine is grown throughout all its regions. Some of the most unique wines of Italy come from Campania. Campania is known for its coastal beauty, culinary delights, and the glitz of the Amalfi coast. A region that has quietly been making wines for thousands of years. Campania is especially renowned for Irpinia wines. I recently had the opportunity to meet Bruno Pizza, the man behind Tenuta Del Meriggio, and taste his exceptional wines from Irpinia.
Tenuta Del Meriggio
Tenuta Del Meriggio is set on the picturesque hills of Serra di Montemiletto in Irpinia. Bruno Pizza founded the winery in 2010. Their modern winery was built with the environment in mind. The wines are produced sustainably. The production of sanitary water and electricity is met, during daylight hours, from heating and photovoltaic panels and rainwater are stored in a small lake where they also conveyed the wastewater filtered utilizing a complex system of phytoremediation. The great wine-making room is equipped with innovative systems and steel tanks that are all temperature controlled.
The winery was a passion project, a dream that Bruno was able to realize. They have 25 hectares of land, and their vineyard sites are some of the best in the region. They have seven different vineyards throughout Irpinia, which are planted to indigenous grapes of the region. They are 50 kilometers from the sea and at a high elevation, so it is a cool mountain climate. The vineyards are between 400 and 600 meters above sea level. Bruno wants to transmit in the glass, all the passion and love they have for producing these wines. They try hard to be minimalist interventionalists in the cellars, leaving the vineyards to best express all that it has to offer. Bruno is against the concept of a house style, they leave it to the vineyards and the vintage to best express the wines.
Irpinia is based around Avellino and the climate is completely different from the rest of Campania and Naples. Irpinia is a valley that is surrounded by mountains, Mountains that are 2000 meters above sea level. This gives Irpinia a continental climate, where winters are cold, and summers have a nice diurnal range with warm days are cool nights. These are ideal conditions for the indigenous varieties they grow. Bruno says that even though they are in Southern Italy, they produce mountain wines. Their wines have the body of southern Italian wines, and the freshness and minerality of northern Italian wines. The soils are calcareous and clay with volcanically enriched soils that are a result of their proximity to Vesuvius.
We tasted a range of wines and each had unique expressions of quality, minerality, and texture. These are wines that will transport you to the hills of Campania.
Wines of Tenuta Del Meriggio
The first wine we had was an aperitif, Aura Levis Irpinia Greco Spumante DOC Brut. This is one of the newer wines in their portfolio and is yet to be released. The winery has its own autoclaves, and so they produce the sparkling wines themselves. It was an incredible treat to get a preview and taste of this delicious sparkling wine made from 70% Greco di Tufo and 30% Code di Volpe. The wine is produced in the charmat method. This sparkling wine was crisp and fresh with delicate bubbles and notes of citrus and almonds.
Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2018 – Fiano di Avellino is one of Italy’s greatest white wine. This Fiano was elegant with a deep yellow-green color. The wine has wonderful minerality with notes of peach and herbs. A Fiano that has the potential to age.
Greco di Tufo DOCG 2018– Greco di Tufo is also known as the Prince of Irpinia’s white wines. This wine has bright acidity and lots of minerality with hints of lime and orange zest. The palate is very fruity and fresh with a long finish.
Irpinia Aglianico 2015 – This 100% Aglianico is a full-bodied wine with rich tannins. On the palate, it is evident that is a great food wine. It is a wine with a ruby-red color and intense aroma. There are notes of red fruits and spices. It has a good, fresh, fruity and balanced taste.
Taurasi DOCG 2014 – This wine is characterized by the selection of Aglianico grapes, from the highest part of the own estate vineyard facing South – East on the hills of the Passo Della Serra of Montemiletto. It is a wine of great structure that is supported by an adequate freshness. This Taurasi is a beautifully elegant wine with a deep red color. There is an intense fragrance of wild berries, spices, cherries, and plums, It has an engaging, elegant and persistence notes of plum, black pepper, and licorice. Drinking well right now, this Taurasi has the capability of aging for many more years.
*** Photo Credits – Tenuta Del Meriggio ***