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The history of the Aglianico grape is an impressive one, and one which takes us back to the earliest days of wine production in Italy. The name itself is a derivation of Ellenico, the Italian word for the Greek Hellenic, and its origins are certainly ancient Greek. Two and a half thousand years ago, the Greek empire was expanding, and Aglianico vines were first brought to Italy (known by the Greeks as Oenotria - land of the wines) at this time. They were mainly planted in southern Italy, in and around the regions of Campania and Basilicata, and thrived there until the late nineteenth century. However, when the phylloxera epidemic struck, the Aglianico grape was almost destroyed forever.
Following the war, Italian grapegrowers went to great lengths to begin replacing the lost Aglianico vines, and by the beginning of the 21st century, there were 35,000 acres of Aglianico vineyards in use in southern Italy. This grape seems to thrive best in volcanic soils, where it takes on plenty of the distinctive character of these fertile lands. It is most celebrated in the DOC regions of Taurasi and Aglianico del Vulture, where it exudes its beautiful intensity and freshness in the hands of the master vintners who work there.