Fiano is one of Italy’s noblest white grapes. Fiano is part of a trio of fresh, mineral whites— the others being Falanghina and Greco—native to the southern Italian region of Campania. This is Italy’s ancient cradle of viticulture, the place the Greeks named oenotria and where Roman-era chroniclers like Columella and Pliny the Elder first cataloged the best-performing wine grapes in the region. Although Fiano is grown throughout Campania, including coastal areas like Cilento, the preferred terroir for the variety is Irpinia, a cool, hilly district about 50 kilometers east of Naples. Irpinia’s dimensions correspond roughly to those of the modern day province of Avellino, within which are key wine towns like Taurasi, Tufo, and of course its capital city, which lends its name to the DOCG designation for Fiano. The soils in the Fiano di Avellino catchment area are a mix of volcanic material along with clay, sand, and limestone. The vineyards climb up the thickly wooded foothills of the Apennine Mountains (500 m asl), enabling producers to preserve freshness in their whites. Although we tend to associate taut, un-oaked whites with more northerly growing zones, Campania has long made such wines its calling card (along with powerhouse and elegant reds from the Aglianico grape).
Aromatic, mineral, and textured. In the glass, it displays a deep yellow/gold hue and bursts forth with aromas of yellow peach, acacia honey, wild green herbs, citrus, and a hint of smoke. It’s an expressive, textured wine, and it finishes on a crisp, citrusy note.