Sons of a Lesser God: Sparkling Wines from Almost Unknown Native Grapes – Falanghina

7th September 2023

Sons of a Lesser God Sparkling Wines from Almost Unknown Native Grapes - Falanghina

Let’s move to the beautiful region of Campania to discover the special sparkling wines from the Falanghina grape!

Falanghina wines are pretty nice and have a good aging potential: the name of the grape probably derives from Latin Phalanx, because the vines were supported by poles called “’phalanges’. Falanghina was re-evaluated after the phylloxera pest because it was not affected and it can often be grown ungrafted.

The cultivation area of this white variety covers about 5% of the vineyards of the region: Sannio in the province of Benevento and Campi Flegrei, in the province of Caserta, have the greatest vocation. Falanghina prefers a dry climate and hilly soils and it has round berries with thick skin; dry wines are characterized by pale lemon color, very good acidity and fragrant notes of floral, fruity and wet stone.

During the second edition of Campania Wine in Naples, I tasted very interesting samples!

Hugo 12.15 is a Giuseppe Sarno’s creature, I Gaudi winery.
Straw yellow color, olfactory notes of citrus fruits, peach, acacia, mint, fine bubbles: perfect for aperitif and with raw fish.

Cava Nera is a Classic Method Extra Brut sparkling wine, from Porto di Mola winery. Falanghina grapes are cultivated on volcanic soils of the Galluccio region and the bottles during the second fermentation are located in a basaltic cave under the Risiera Lake. Medium lemon color, medium intensity at the nose, with hints of stone fruits, tropical fruits, and pastry. Creamy mousse and very interesting persistence.

V.S.Q. Baia Brut, Charmat Method is the new sparkling wine produced by Villa Matilde Avallone Winery. In the Sixties; Francesco Paolo Avallone, a lawyer with a great passion for ancient wines, decided to give new life to Falerno wines, well described by Plinio the Elder.

Not only dry wines from Falanghina, Aglianico, Piedirosso but also sparkling!

Mata Extra Brut 2012 is a Classic Method from Falanghina grapes that grow on volcanic soils, with ten years on the lees. Beautiful straw yellow color, olfactory notes of blossom, acacia, elderflower, grapefruit, white peach, herbal and bread; delicious creamy mousse and very good quality-price rate!

Feudi di San Gregorio is an organic winery in Irpinia, in the center of the Campania region: it is a Benefit Company, with the Equalitas certification, with the aim of protecting the biodiversity of the territory and cultivating the vineyards in a respectful way. Falanghina Brut follows the Charmat technique for production and the second fermentation takes place in a tank. Straw yellow, floral and fruity notes with silky mousse.

Dubl Brut is a Classic Method, 12 months on the lees, with brilliant straw yellow color: at the nose chamomile, honey, apricot, biscuits, herbal hints, creamy mousse and medium finish.

V.S.Q. Nudo Eroico Extra Dry comes from Falanghina grapes cultivated on clayey soil with marlstone outcrops at 250 mt above sea level in Torrecuso, in the province of Benevento. Fontanavecchia winery produced very good wines from native grapes: the vineyards were also renowned during the Borbone’s Age for their great vocation! Medium acidity, fresh aromas of apple, acacia, white melon and delicate mousse.

Falanghina with no doubt is a very well performing grape for sparkling wines and many other wineries in Campania are looking for producing new labels to improve their offer to the consumers.

In this article:

I Gaudi – Candida (AV)
Porto di Mola – Galluccio (CE)
Villa Matilde Avallone – Cellole (CE)
Feudi di San Gregorio – Sorbo Serpico (AV)
Azienda Agricola Fontanavecchia – Torrecuso ( BN)

Olga Sofia Schiaffino

Winelover, Sommelier, wine blogger WSET Level 3 passed with distinction. Sparkling wine addict.