Campania sparkling wines
The production of various types of Campania sparkling wine began to develop since the 1980s, thanks to the ability of local winemakers to develop a closed supply chain and a product that has gradually acquired high levels of excellence and prestige over time and which places Campania sparkling wines among the best productsn on both national and international level. In the past, the Campania region has never shone for the production of sparkling wines compared to other Italian regions, but starting from the experiments on the grapes since the Eighties, the demand for Campania bubbles has been more and more increasing and currently about a million of bottles of Campania sparkling wine are produced, obtained from different varieties such as Asprinio, Falanghina, Greco, Fiano, Coda di volpe, Biancolella and Moscato del Baselice as regards the white grape varieties; Aglianico, Piedirosso, Barbera del Sannio and Sciascinoso as regards the black berry ones. There are sparkling wines obtained from white grapes, red and rosé sparkling wines, produced through the various processing methods provided for by the relative procedural guidelines.
Campania sparkling wines through history
The history of Campania sparkling wines is linked above all to the Oenological School sited in the city of Avellino, pioneering in the proposal of theories and practices oriented to the expression of the native Irpinia vines in the sparkling version. Indeed, already a century ago, Elio Gramignani, director of the Mobile Chair of Agriculture in the city of Avellino, referring to the wine named Greco di Tufo, stated that it was “created to be placed on the market enclosed in a bottle of classic sparkling wine”. On the other hand, in 1932 the sparkling wine obtained from the Greco di Tufo grape was publicly appreciated by Prince Umberto di Savoia and his wife during the inauguration of an exhibition on Irpinia wines, in particular during the visit to the stand of the Di Marzo winery from the city of Tufo (AV). In the following years, the production of sparkling wine in Campania underwent a further acceleration thanks to the commitment and the efforts of some local winemakers, up to the inclusion of various types of red and rosé sparkling wines. A specific mention should be made of the Asprinio d’Aversa sparkling wine, already the subject of study and experimentation in 1985, through the first refermentation processes in the bottle. A few years earlier (1983), on the other hand, there was the experience of the Calimera sparkling wine from the island of Ischia, produced in an ancient cellar dug into the green tuff in the territory of the Calimera section in the municipality of Serrara Fontana. In general, the success of Campania sparkling wines derives from the study and use of vines from which particularly fresh and elegant, mineral and sapid wines are obtained, with a strong focus on biodiversity in viticulture.
Campania sparkling wines: a brief overview on the modes of production
The various procedural guidelines mainly consider three production methods for the grapes destined for the realisation of Campania sparkling wines. It is primarily the so-called “classic method” (or Champenoise method), which involves a process of conservation and fermentation in the bottle, during which the wine remains in contact with the yeasts for a long period. In the cellar, the bottles are placed in an inclined position, with the neck down, and rotated periodically, going through long times and delicate operations; another procedure indicated is the “Martinotti/Charmat method”, which instead involves a fermentation process in an autoclave, resulting in the least expensive and fastest technique, aimed at obtaining fresh sparkling wines. It should be noted that this method is not considered an alternative to the classic one, but it constitutes a real ad hoc procedure, used by those who want to enhance the primary aromas and obtain more versatile and young wines. Finally, another method mentioned is the one defined as “ancestral”, which involves a spontaneous refermentation of the wine in the bottle without the addition of sugars, exogens, yeasts, sulphites or other additives. Furthermore, the wine is not subjected to the typical disgorgement phase but it is offered in its intact structure, on its own natural yeasts.
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