Arguably, the most exciting development in Italian wine in the last 30 years isn’t the bevy of inexpensive modern-styled wine made from international varieties. But, instead, the handful of pioneers reclaiming native varieties on the native soils.
No one has embraced this spirit more than Feudi di San Gregorio and the revolution they’ve sparked in Campania – that is now the inspiration of the sommelier set.
When a devastating earthquake rocked the region in late 1980, killing thousands and leaving 300,000 homeless, it could have spelled the end to much of the region’s 3,000 year history of wine making.
Enzo Ercolino, who had escaped the backwater years before for Rome – ran in the opposite direction – and with his brothers started Feudi di San Gregorio from among the ruins and vacated vineyards.
As they brought in world-class consultants – like the late Denis Dubourdieu – what they found out they had was terroir completely unique in the wine world – high altitude wines, kissed by sea breezes in volcanic soils and in some cases pre-phylloxera vineyards over 150 years old.
They separated their vineyards into over 700 micro-plots and crafted a plan for each to drive maximum expression and purity of the historic grapes that grew in each tiny region. It was a mountain of work but after a few years, the accolades started to roll in.
As the wine world finally caught on to the tiny backwater revolution they had begun, the trickle of accolades developed into a deluge. Several hundred 90+ scores, a few dozen Tre Bicchieri awards from Gambero Rosso, several ‘Winery/Wines of the Year’ nods.
But that was never the point. Their highest achievement was the creation of the research laboratory, called FeudiStudi – a genetic and historic database of the entire region – for the region to use completely free, forever – including thousands of potential flavors that are at risk of disappearing forever.
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91+ Points, Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Greco di Tufo is a sharp and linear expression with a distinct mineral note that cuts straight through and gives this wine its backbone. The fresh acidity also serves beautifully to that end. Drink this fresh white wine with insalata di mare or mussels steamed in white wine and garlic. Those savory seafood dishes would make a great contrast to the white flower and peachy aromas delivered by this pretty wine.
91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Honeysuckle and exotic fruit aromas are front and center on this dazzling white. On the linear, vibrant palate, you’ll find honeydew, Meyer lemon and tart apple alongside crisp acidity. A mineral note reminiscent of oyster shell closes the dry, tangy finish.
91 Points, James Suckling
A bright, steely Greco di Tufo showing green apples, citrus and fresh herbs. Light to medium body, zippy acidity and a tidy, fruity finish.