Wine in the Sorrento Peninsula: Gragnano wine
Gragnano wine is the wine of Naples par excellence, for centuries it has been the drink which has quenched the thirst of generations of Neapolitans. In the legendary film “Miseria e Nobiltà” (1954), Totò-Felice Sciosciammocca goes shopping, and his friend Pasquale takes him to buy wine, “take the wine, taste it, if it’s Gragnano you take it, otherwise do not bother” .
Gragnano is a village in the hills of the Peninsula, surrounded by greenery, on a beautiful terracing which has an inevitable smell of the sea. A village characterised by its food and wine; here, the production of dried pasta has developed along with many other important industries, while we can still observe the traces of the excellent quality craftsmanship. Here, we eat a stuffed pizza called panuozzo. And here, vines have always been grown, in order to produce this sparkling red wine that takes its name from the village.
The cultivation of Gragnano
It is a wine that grows in an area which has always been dedicated to viticulture, Campania wine was considered excellent by the ancient Romans, Pompeii was famous for exporting wine grown on the slopes of Vesuvius, and also from these areas. Then, in the early 19th century, King Joachim Murat brought enologists from France to use more evolved techniques and methods, bringing Gragnano to the level we know today.
Gragnano is cultivated on terracing, which costs the farmers a lot, with small plots of land which smell of sea and ash, because the land is fromed from the eruption of Vesuvius two thousand years ago. A light wine, although with a good complexity, with a beautiful froth, which one drinks chilled, and which goes well with the entire meal, although it is ideally suited to many of the dishes belonging to the local cuisine – parmigiana, spaghetti with tomato – but which is absolutely ideal with a pizza margherita. Good quality producers offer it at a price which doesn’t exceed 10 euros, and they are all producers from the area. The vines which make this wine have beautiful names: the Piedirosso, which in dialect is called “Pere ‘e palummo”, or dove’s foot, due to the characteristic shape of its stalk, which in fact resembles the bird’s foot. And also Sciascinoso, Tintore, San Francesco, which are all rare vines, specific to this area.
So, open a bottle of Gragnano, a light wine which is fun, suitable for a tasty, but not demanding cuisine. The time for excellent wines, of Barolo or Amarine, or, to remain in Campania, Taurasi, is reserved for important moments; as a daily table wine, with a nice pizza, the Gragnano will be just perfect!