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Aglianico del Vulture

Aglianico del Vulture is the most famous wine excellence of the Basilicata region. It is produced in a volcanic mountainous area in the province of Potenza dominated by the presence of Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano that reaches an altitude of 1,327 m, and is populated by lakes, woods, streams, pastures and, above all, vineyards. From the red grapes of one of the most widespread vines in Southern Italy, grown on the slopes of the great volcano, comes this red wine of great structure, power and complexity. It can benefit from long ageing in wooden barrels which are kept in the typical cellars dug out of the tuff rock. In this way it reaches warm, harmonious and velvety expressions, elegantly accompanying important meat dishes and very tasty mature cheeses.

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Aglianico del Vulture is the most famous wine excellence of the Basilicata region. It is produced in a volcanic mountainous area in the province of Potenza dominated by the presence of Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano that reaches an altitude of 1,327 m, and is populated by lakes, woods, streams, pastures and, above all, vineyards. From the red grapes of one of the most widespread vines in Southern Italy, grown on the slopes of the great volcano, comes this red wine of great structure, power and complexity. It can benefit from long ageing in wooden barrels which are kept in the typical cellars dug out of the tuff rock. In this way it reaches warm, harmonious and velvety expressions, elegantly accompanying important meat dishes and very tasty mature cheeses.

The Volcanic Territory of the Basilicata Region

Aglianico Vulture originates in a unique territory of volcanic origin, located in the northern part of the Basilicata region, in the province of Potenza. It is bounded to the south by the Ofanto river and to the north by the borders of the Apulia and Campania regions. The most famous localities, where important and historical wine cellars dug into the tuffaceous stone are located, are Rionero, Barile, Melfi and Venosa.

The landscape is dominated by the presence of the great volcano that gives its name to the area, which was active until the Upper Pleistocene era, i.e. 13,000 years ago, covering about 45,000 hectares and standing 1326 metres high. The two volcanic lakes of Monticchio are now located in the crater area, while clay hills between 500 and 800 metres above sea level extend all around the great mountain.

Thanks to the extraordinary fertility of the lava rocks, the continental climate and the isolated position that has allowed the formation of a confined habitat. The environmental context is a green setting extraordinarily rich in fauna and flora, an ecosystem of extraordinary natural interest. The woods are the protagonists of the landscape, populated by chestnut, beech and other trees, as well as animals such as birds, wolves, foxes and wild boar. Some 15,000 hectares of vineyards extend across this earthly paradise.

In the historic municipalities that have sprung up in this hilly area, there are also ancient wine cellars dug out of the tuff rock from as early as the 15th century, where the grapes are still processed today and where the particularly prestigious, important and elegant Basilicata wines, now appreciated all over the world, are produced. The historic production centre is located between 450 and 600 metres above sea level, in a charming location chosen by Pier Paolo Pasolini for the setting of the 1964 film Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew). In the rooms dug into the hillsides, the reds mature slowly in oak barrels, eventually expressing all their ancestral and fascinating aromatic complexity, structure and strength in the glass.



The Traditions of Aglianico del Vulture DOC

The earliest evidence of wine production in the area dates back to ancient times and consists of the remains of a Roman wine press, found in Rionero, of terracotta amphora with long, wide necks and of a depiction of the god Bacchus on a 4th century BC coin found near the town of Venosa. In the first century BC, the poet Horace, a native of Venosa, celebrated the importance of good drinking and the storage of fermented must in Greek amphorae sealed with cork, wax or pitch.

Many centuries later, Charles I of Anjou praised the red wines produced in the Vulture hills, reflecting an already well-established tradition in the area. In the 13th century, Frederick II chose Melfi as his summer residence, appreciated for its great biodiversity of fauna and the presence of game for hunting with a falcon, and encouraged the cultivation of vines. From the 14th century onwards, some villages such as Barile and Rionero were populated by Greek and Albanian populations, who helped bring their traditions and culture to Basilicata, contributing to the excavation of caves and cellars in the tuff rock.

After centuries of traditions, the Denominazione di Origine Controllata was recognised in 1971, which defined the characteristics of Aglianico del Vulture DOC. Recently, in 2010, DOCG was established for the Superiore and Superiore Riserva versions, which are aged in oak barrels for more than 12 and 24 months respectively.



The Personality of a Great Red Wine and the Best Pairings

This red wine is characterised by a great aromatic impact, as well as structure, richness and power. It presents itself in the glass with an impenetrable and deep ruby red colour and great consistency. The aroma expresses itself in hints of very ripe and jammy red fruit, black pepper, wild spices, roots, leather, tobacco and liquorice. The taste is normally intense, full-bodied and textured. The freshness of the fruit is softened and attenuated by an important alcoholic component and a vigorous tannic structure. Among the most famous and representative expressions of this wine are: Aglianico del Vulture Cantine del Notaio, Basilisco, Paternoster and Elena Fucci.

Because of its strength, it should be paired with very rich and flavoursome dishes, including barbecued red meats, game, truffle dishes and blue and mature cheeses. Aglianico del Vulture can be paired with various regional products: soppressata, capocollo, lamb casserole, sausages and mandorlata di peperoni.

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