From time to time a new wine arrives on the market and signals that the house which has produced it has reached a new level of ambition and success in its work. More rarely, a wine appears of such excellent quality that the potential of its grapes is entirely reevaluated in the light of the results which have been achieved. And – a phenomenon which is virtually without precedents – an extraordinary wine redefines an entire zone of production, to the point that the words “great” or exceptional” seem almost inadequate to describe it.
All of the above occurred in the 1990’s when the first vintages of the Galardi’s Terra di Lavoro first saw the light of day. The project – an effort on the part of a group of friends and relatives inspired both by curiosity and desire – aimed at creating a new wine of the highest level from vineyards situated on the slopes of an extinct volcano, Roccamonfina, located in the township of Sessa Aurunca in the northern part of the Campania region of Italy’s south. Ambition is one thing, but this might have seemed excessive even in a period when many an investment was motivated by a conviction that anything was possible with the proper funds and professional counsels. Sessa Aurunca had never been considered a site for outstanding wines, Galardi’s protagonists had never made professional use of a wine expert and the wine they made was the product of a blend that, although part of the local tradition, had never previously yielded anything of notable significance.
But the consultant they chose, Riccardo Cotarella, soon realized that this wine, a combination of Aglianico (for power and structure) and Piedirosso (for aroma and complexity) gave magical results on these hillsides. No one could have doubted the professional capabilities of this consultant, but above and beyond his contribution, it soon became obvious that it was this soil and climate which gave the extraordinary character to this wine, its unique personality, its enchanting nose and palate, its incomparable depth and length. In spite of the increase in production, the characteristics that made the Terra di Lavoro one of the best wines of Italy have been preserved to this day.