A few years ago Federico Starnone (aka Fred Starring on FB) saw an article that I had written on the wines of Southern Italy.
He wrote to me and suggested that I visit the Sertura Vini d’Irpinia winery the next time I was in Campania. I was planning on visiting the region on a press trip sponsored by Campania Stories, but I had already selected the wineries I was going to visit. However, the day before one of my scheduled visits, there was a landslide on the Amalfi Coast and my visit had to be canceled. Suddenly, I had free time so I contacted Fred and he and Giancarlo Barbieri the owner/enologist came and took me to the winery for very enjoyable tour.
Recently, Fred saw on FB that I would be in Rome in March so he invited me to come to the winery once again. We arranged for Fred to meet Michele and I at the train station in Naples and from there it was a 45 minute drive to the winery in the small town of Montefalcione.
Charles, Michele, Umberto and Fred
We stopped at Hostaria Manfredi in the Hotel Civita in Atripalda (AV) for lunch and to taste the wines. Fred introduced me to Umberto Cieffo, the director of the hotel and the restaurant.
We tasted 6 wines from Sertura.
Our lunch began with some starters, including beef carpaccio with vegetables and local walnuts lightly dressed with olive oil.
We also had pinza, a flat bread topped with local cheese and mushrooms.
There was also a salad of baccala with pickled peppers and other vegetables.
We also enjoyed the potatoes pureed with local broccoli and olive oil, topped with cruschi, crunchy dried peppers.
Over lunch Fred said that the Sertura winery does not use any international grapes and only produces 6 wines. Their logo portrays a Clock Tower, the main symbol of Avellino, a city of which they are very proud.
Falanghina IGT made from 100% Falanghina, the Monte Miletto vineyard is at 500 meters and has a southeast exposure. The harvest takes place by hand the last week of September. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine has hints of yellow fruit, apple and pineapple, with good acidity.
Fiano di Avellino DOCG made from 100% Fiano di Avellino. The vineyards are in Montefalcione, a tiny village perched on a hill a short distance from Avellino. The vineyards are at 380 meters and the soil is clay. The training system is guyot and there are 4,000 plants per hectare. Harvest is by hand in early October. The grapes are soft pressed and fermented for 21 to 25 days at a controlled temperature. This is a complex full bodied wine with aromas and flavors of citrus fruit and hints of pear and green apple.
Pasta alla Nerano made with fried zucchini and the locally made provolone del Monaco.
Greco di Tufo DOCG made from 100% Greco from vineyards in Santa Paolina north of Avellino on the slopes of a hill at 400 meters. The soil is clay and rich in minerals, the training system is guyot and there are 4,000 plants per hectare. Harvest is usually the first week of October. The wine is balanced with nice fruit flavors hinting of yellow fruit, pear flowers, minerality and a delicate almond finish.
Rosato IGP made from 100% Aglianico. The soil is clayey-marly, clayey-silty. Harvest takes place at the end of October. The wine has hints of strawberries, pomegranate, and raspberries with a background of floral scents.
Steak alla Fiorentina grilled tender was delicious and went perfectly with the next wine.
Aglianico DOC IGT made from 100% Aglianico from vineyards of the small town of Torre Le Nocelle in Irpinia east of Avellino. The vineyards are at 500 meters and there is a range of temperature between night and day. This, along with the clay soil make it perfect for growing Aglianico. The training system is guyot and there are 4,000 plants per hectare. Fred said Aglianico ripens late and the harvest takes place the first ten days of November. Maceration and fermentation is at a controlled temperature for 21 to 25 days. It has hints of red fruit with notes of spice. It is a big wine for an Aglianico.
Taurasi DOCG made from 100% Aglianico The same as above only there is a selection of the best grapes. The wine is aged for 18 months in various size oak barrels. This is a robust wine that will age for a long time. It has hints red and black berries, with notes of leather and spice. I was very impressed with this wine.
After lunch I went to visit the winery but Giancarlo Barbieri was in Chicago promoting the wines. Fred took us on a tour of the winery and the vineyards before returning us to Naples. It was a perfect day for a visit to the countryside.