Every grape has its chosen spot where, historically and traditionally, it has given, systematically its finest and most expressive results. In the case of Greco di Tufo, perhaps Italy’s greatest white grape variety, that place might well be the township of Tufo in Campania’s province of Avellino where, currently, an entire series of well run houses make wines which fully live up to the expectations which the fame of the spot has acquired. And among these producers, the name of Benito Ferrara has, over the past decade and half, indicated one of the very major protagonists.
But first, an explanation of the reasons behind the renown. One is certainly the climate, quite cool, which allows the grape, a late ripener, to remain on the vine for a very lengthy period of time, often into October when, in the majority of cases, the harvest has turned its attention to red varieties. But perhaps even more important, the soil of Tufo is very rich in sulfur, deposited eons ago by a sea which covered the spot. In the 19th century, these deposits and their economic potential were recognized by two entrepreneurs, Francesco Di Marzo and Federico Capone, who founded important sulfur mines which, up until recently, were the backbone of the local economy. It is unquestionable, therefore, that it is this geological characteristic which give the wines of Tufo their special savor, crispness, vitality, and bracing freshness.
It was Gabriella Ferrara, aided by the inspired winemaking of consultant Tuscany’s Paolo Caciorgna, who turned this potential into bottles which, by now, are known and consumed all over the world, and it should be said that the place where the vineyards are located, the San Paolo area of the township, is a particularly favored place. It supplies the grapes for the excellent regular Greco di Tufo offering and, even better, the Vigna della Cicogna selection, an authentic cru and one of the great white wines of the Italian south. And these two wines have been joined by now by a high level Fiano d’Avellino and the rich and potent Taurasi Vigna Quattro Confini as well.