Irpinia is not a word, a name whose meaning is immediately recognizable even in Italy, entirely less so outside of the country. It derives from the Latin word “hirpus”, or “wolf”, which gives some idea of this wild, at times savage, countryside of the province of Avellino. We are in the south here, but this is a different south: remote isolated, mountainous, cold in winter, cool in the summer, a far cry from the sunny and balmy city of Naples, the capital of the Campania region to which Irpinia belongs. Wine has always been produced here, and with a special character: austere, aloof, potent, not for immediately pleasure but for connoisseurs seeking deeper satisfaction, complexity, and intensity. And an area of no small historical importance: in the early 20th century this was the third most important province of Italy in terms of its viticulture and production.
Luciano Ercolino is a true son of this territory, his grandfather was already involved in wine in the year 1887, and 130 years of history is no small patrimony. He saw, with a first-hand glance, the exodus from the countryside of the first postwar period and he saw – at a direct participant – the rebirth of the viticulture of Irpinia which began in the 1980’s and has continued to this day. And not as a witness but as a protagonist, an integral part of a movement which restored to this part of the Italian south the dignity and prestige which the quality of its wines unquestionably deserved. This together with various of his brothers, but Vinosia is his own project, one which he founded and developed and built into an important force both in a regional and a national context. The beautiful cellars, dug into the hillsides so as to virtually become a part of the landscape, is a concrete testimony of the respect and love which he feels for his native birthplace. The wines are produced from the 250 acres of vineyards which he ably manages, a third of which are his own property.
The sites have been chosen, plot by plot, for the ability to translate into wine the finest qualities of Irpinia’s great grapes: Fiano, Greco, and Aglianico. The choices are many, but well worth citing are: the various Taurasi offerings (Rajamaga, Marziacanale, Sant’Andrea), the Le Grade Fiano d’Avellino, and the Ariella Greco di Tufo. All exemplary expression of their territory and their author.