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Wines from Molise

Molise is a small region in the south of the Italian peninsula, with a short coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Viticulture has an ancient history here: thanks to Greek colonisation, the practice of domesticating and growing vines had spread to most of the regions of southern Italy, and the Samnites were familiar with the vine even before the arrival of the Romans. Since the fall of the Roman Empire, wine-growing in Molise has experienced a long period of progressive decline. It was only during the Bourbon domination that vineyard management and production resumed vigorously, although it came to a halt towards the end of the 19th century with the arrival of phylloxera. Today, the wines of Molise represent excellence, with a production chain that has managed to preserve ancient traditions and the cultivation of some rare native vines that are capable of producing very interesting wines.

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Molise is a small region in the south of the Italian peninsula, with a short coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Viticulture has an ancient history here: thanks to Greek colonisation, the practice of domesticating and growing vines had spread to most of the regions of southern Italy, and the Samnites were familiar with the vine even before the arrival of the Romans. Since the fall of the Roman Empire, wine-growing in Molise has experienced a long period of progressive decline. It was only during the Bourbon domination that vineyard management and production resumed vigorously, although it came to a halt towards the end of the 19th century with the arrival of phylloxera. Today, the wines of Molise represent excellence, with a production chain that has managed to preserve ancient traditions and the cultivation of some rare native vines that are capable of producing very interesting wines.

The Regional Map: Area and Vineyards

The territory is characterised by a mountainous area and a large hilly area that slopes down from the Apennine ridge towards the Adriatic Sea coast. It is a region highly suited to quality viticulture, with no flat areas. The total area devoted to vines is about 8,000 hectares and almost all the vineyards are in hilly or mountainous areas, especially along the Biferno and Volturno valleys. Despite the latitude, the climate in the inland areas is sub-continental, cool and sunny, characterised by wide temperature ranges between day and night. As one approaches the coast, the climate becomes milder and more Mediterranean, with the beneficial influence of sea breezes. In terms of soil composition, the region offers a range of diversity, with calcareous-clay marls, clays and a prevalence of sand in the area closest to the coast. The presence of different soil and climate conditions, even within such a small area, makes it suitable for growing both red and some white grape varieties.

From an ampelographic point of view, a region as small as Molise inevitably experiences the influence of the most important grape varieties grown in the neighbouring areas. In the catalogue dedicated to online red wine, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Aglianico, as well as Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo, are essential. The white grapes include Bombino Bianco from nearby Puglia, Falanghina from Campania, Malvasia lunga, Greco bianco, Moscato and Trebbiano Toscano. International vines play a minor role and their use is only permitted within the DOC regulations. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Bianco and Cabernet Sauvignon are mainly cultivated. As far as cultivation techniques are concerned, in the past the Tendone system was widely used, which allowed a high production per hectare. Today, espalier or alberello systems are preferred, which favour lower yields and better quality grapes with richer, more concentrated aromas. The region's most important and identifiable grape variety is theTintilia, protected by the special Tintilia DOC, which includes Red and Rosé versions. This is an ancient indigenous variety that has been present in these lands for centuries, but despite its high quality, it risked disappearing in favour of much more productive and commercially profitable grapes. In recent decades, thanks also to the general rediscovery of Italy's ampelographic heritage, some producers in Molise have decided to focus on the variety, resuming cultivation in the most suitable areas and with high planting density in order to obtain grapes of excellent quality. Increasingly careful vinification and refinement have given Tintilia a new face, making it a red wine of excellent quality and an interesting rarity for enthusiasts in search of something new. Its success has not stopped at the domestic market and today it is also appreciated abroad for its authentically local character. It is a grape variety with obscure origins, and even DNA analysis has not revealed any relationship with other varieties from central and southern Italy. The wine has an intense red colour, with aromas of blackberry, plum, small dark berries and delicate spice notes. On the palate it has a good structure, with a thick tannic texture and dense, complex and very persistent aromas.


Producers and Wines

Among the Molise wine producers, the Di Majo Norante winery certainly deserves a special mention, especially for its excellent and pleasantly drinkable versions of Tintilia. Other wineries that have played a leading role in the revival of Molise wines include Cianfagna and Angelo d'Uva.


Food Pairings

Tintilia, vinified in purity, produces wines with rich and expressive fruit, good structure and important tannins. Because of its characteristics and its strong personality, it is a red wine that goes very well with second courses of grilled meats, with sliced beef, with roasts or game. It is also a perfect partner for a number of tasty dishes typical of the local tradition, such as roast leg of lamb or roast mutton. The rosé wines go very well with seafood, particularly with shellfish, guazzetti or fish soups. The whites are excellent with first courses based on seafood or with a cheese board. With desserts, on the other hand, you can pair an excellent Moscato Passito.

Buy the best wines from the Molise region on the Callmewine store. Discover the authentic character of a region with ancient traditions, capable of producing surprising and fascinating wines. Whether they are white wines with a Mediterranean flavour or reds made from rare native vines of great quality, Callmewine has selected the best wines from Molise, at incredibly special online prices.