Ready to get to know a wonderful wine? Introducing Fiano, a white Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Campania region of southern Italy and on the island of Sicily. Have you tried it? I hadn’t, until I tried WineShop At Home’s recently released 2020 Fiano, which is great. Tasting the wine prompted me to get to know the grape more and share my findings with you. Thank you to Wine Folly, WineMag, who calls the grape Campania’s Rising Star, and Sauced & Found for their help with this article.
Let’s start by exploring the region this grape comes from.
Summer in Italy describes Campania as a “fascinating land of glittering gulfs, islands, and legendary places” including the Amalfi Coast. The Campania region is outlined on the west by the Mediterranean Sea (called the Tyrrhenian, or Tirreno). The region is divided into five provinces, with these capitals: Salerno, Caserta, Avellino, Benevento and Naples (Napoli). Naples is also the capital of the region itself.
Dream of Italy goes on to say that “Campania is the most-visited of Italy’s southern regions. Encompassing Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Cilento, Caserta and more, it is not hard to understand the draw this area has had for modern and ancient travelers alike. Explore the Roman and Greek influences at ancient sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum and you will be transported back in history several thousand years. Caserta’s more modern palace – one that rivals Versailles – also deserves a visit. Don’t miss Campania’s natural wonders along the coast in the mountains, including the national park of Cilento.”
What Wines Is Campania Known For?
Sauced & Found says that Campania has a wildly varied topography and volcanic soil, making it the most biodiverse region in Italy. This would be a great region to do some serious terroir research. “The same soil that gives the world the spectacular San Marzano tomato and squeaky buffalo mozzarella, also produces some of our most stimulating wines.”
The region is known for a number of red wines, including Agilanico, the most widely planted grape in the region, Barbera del Sannio, which has no genetic relationship to the Northern Italy Barbera, Gragnano, a light, effervescent red wine, and a blend called Taurasi. According to Sauced & Found, Taurasi is “the most celebrated red wine of Campania… [It] is a playfully lush Aglianico blend from the Province of Avellino. If you are fond of Barberas and Brunellos but want to sample a mineral forward, full bodied Southern red, Taurasi is the wine for you. A corpulently tannic wine aged in oak, Taurasi is best with a big bloody steak.”
Campania’s whites are very fresh and include Asprinio, Bioncolella, Catalanesca, Coda di Volpe, Falanghina and finally Fiano.
WineMag says that “Fiano produces structured whites that range from medium- to full-bodied and sport intense floral aromas. Their rich orchard fruit flavors are often accented with compelling, smoky mineral sensations, aromatic herb and crisp acidity. It’s also common to find a hazelnut note on the finish. The best have great energy as well as intriguing complexity. To maintain freshness and aromas, Fiano producers most often vinify exclusively in steel tanks.”
Wine Folly describes this wine as a dry, medium-light bodied white with no tannins and medium acidity. Its primary flavors are honeydew, Asian pear, hazelnut, orange peel and pine.
WineShop At Home’s Milano Cellars 2020 Fiano features fruity, nutty aromas as well as grapefruit, lime, apricot, peach, gingerbread, nutmeg, hazelnut and minerality aromas and tastes.
The amazing thing about this wine is that you can cellar it for five to 10 years. That’s very exciting to me. I can’t wait to see how the six bottles I just bought age.
Wine Folly describes the wine as being rich and flavorful and recommends pairing it with savory glazed light meats like orange-rosemary roasted chicken and soy-glazed salmon.
Madeline Puckett, the owner of Wine Folly, says the wine has a flavor profile somewhere between Fume Blanc and unoaked chardonnay from Chablis.
I would love to hear about your experiences with this grape.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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