The Fiano grapes which are native to Campania have been grown and cultivated for white wine production for a remarkable length of time. Indeed, Fiano grapes are one of the true classical grapes of Italy, being a favorite of both the Romans and the ancient Greeks, who both prized the varietal for its strong and spicy flavors, resplendent with notes of dark honey and nuts. Fiano grapes also have a beautiful and delicate floral aroma, making them a particularly complex and fascinating grape varietal, favored by those looking for a white wine with real character and unique features. For the past couple of decades, wineries in the New World have begun experimenting with Fiano grapes, with considerable success. As such, more and more people are beginning to rediscover this ancient varietal, and the stunning flavors it carries.
In the very south of Italy, in the heel of the country's 'boot', we find the beautiful and sun drenched region of Puglia. Puglian wines suffered from a poor reputation throughout much of the twentieth century, with the region being generally associated with mass produced wines, more concerned with bulk and quantity than the quality of the produce. However, the past decade has seen a concerted effort on the part of the vintners of Puglia to do away with the region's negative connotations, and Puglian wines have undergone something of a renaissance. With awards and acclaim being piled upon the region, there has never been a better time to explore these characterful, flavorful and deeply exciting wines, packed as they are with big, boisterous dark fruit flavors and interesting attributes.
There are few countries in the world with a viticultural history as long or as illustrious as that claimed by Italy. Grapes were first being grown and cultivated on Italian soil several thousand years ago by the Greeks and the Pheonicians, who named Italy 'Oenotria' â€“ the land of wines â€“ so impressed were they with the climate and the suitability of the soil for wine production. Of course, it was the rise of the Roman Empire which had the most lasting influence on wine production in Italy, and their influence can still be felt today, as much of the riches of the empire came about through their enthusiasm for producing wines and exporting it to neighbouring countries. Since those times, a vast amount of Italian land has remained primarily for vine cultivation, and thousands of wineries can be found throughout the entire length and breadth of this beautiful country, drenched in Mediterranean sunshine and benefiting from the excellent fertile soils found there. Italy remains very much a 'land of wines', and one could not imagine this country, its landscape and culture, without it.