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Aglianico grapes

Aglianico is one of the better quality grapes, which are exclusively used in the process of winemaking.

This grape is found in the southern part of Italy in the Basilicata and the Campania region. And the history suggests that this grape has been planted in this region right from the seventh century B.C.

The best Aglianico wine (100 percent Aglianico) comes from the house of Tauras DOCG along with Aglianico De Vulture DOC. Falerno del massico is another wine producer of the region, which is known for its excellent wines and who uses a high amount of Aglianico wine in their blends.

Wine grape varieties

Aglianico wines are quite tannic, having a high acidity level and a dense concentration of flavour, almost making it taste rough when it is consumed young.

These wines are made for ageing, and the more the age of the wine, the premium it tastes. As the wine matures, the fruit flavours and the tarry, earthy and chocolaty characteristics just balance out each other making the wine subtle and highly flavourful.

History of Aglianico Grape

This grape is assumed to derive its name from the Latin word of ‘Vitis hellenica’, which literally means a Greek Vine. Another school of thought suggests that this vine might have derived its name from ‘Apulianicum’ which is the Latin adjective indicating the whole of southern Italy.

This grape in the Roman times was so popular that it was their primary grape and it was exclusively used in making the Falernian wine. The Romans apparently got this grape variant from the Greeks who are assumed to be the first cultivators of this grape.

This grape was first cultivated by the Phoceans from an unknown ancestral vine. As and how the grape became popular, the settlers of the Cumae region of Greece took the grape variety with them and introduced it to Italy, especially the Basilicata and the Campania region.

Traces of the grape variant have also been found in the Puglia and Molise regions, Procida islands, near Naples.

Regions of Aglianico Grapes

This grape is exclusively produces in the Basilicata and the Campania region of Italy.

The vine is also cultivated in the surrounding areas of Matera, Potenza and Benevento due to their hot climates and well suited soils.

This grape is also planted in the Murray Darling regions of Australia and the Californian region of the United States, due to their predominant sunny climate.

In Australia, the grape is also being experimented upon in the regions of Margaret River, McLaren Vale, Riverland and Mudgee.

Viticulture of Aglianico Grapes

The Aglianico vine buds a little early and is suited to climates which are dry and hot.

It offers good resistance to oidium but might be susceptible to botrytis and peronospera. It has a tendency to rot, but offers resistance to cold and fungal diseases.

Aglianicogrape tends to ripen late with the harvesting season being as late as mid to end of November.

If the grape is picked up too early during the ripening season, this grape produces wine which is highly tannic.

This grape has a tendency to overgrow and hence needs frequent pruning.  The vine is well suited to limey soils and hence grows well in the volcanic regions.

Aglianico vine has medium sized leaves which are longer almost lobed or orbicular with the cluster being cylindrical and compact having a medium to small, often winged dimensions.

These clusters contain berries which are small to medium in size having a waxy, black coloured skin, which despite being thin, is extremely strong.

Characteristics of Aglianico Wine

The wines produced using Aglianico grapes tend to be full bodied, having firm tannin content and a high acidity level.

In the Campania region of Italy, this grape is blended with Merlot and Cabaret Sauvignon.

This wine is well suited to ageing since young wines tend to be more concentrated and tannic.

Once aged in Oak, this wine just gives a lot of fruity flavours which appear quite pronounced and fuller.

Also the tannin content appears balanced with the rest of the wine.

When it comes to the colour, the wine displays a deep garnet colour and due to this high colour, this wine is often used as a blend in some of the famous wines of Italy.

As far as tannin level is concerned, it is medium, with medium acidity levels. The alcohol content of the wine is 13 – 14.5 percent.

Aromas and Flavours of Aglianico Wine

Aglianico wine gives a pretty complex aroma and flavours of black fruit, coffee, smoke, leather, plum, mineral and dark chocolate having an almost smooth and rich texture.

Food Pairings of Aglianico Wine

This wine goes well with Spanish and Italian cuisine and can be paired with roasted vegetables and Pasta.

It also goes well with hard and sharp cheeses like the Taleggio or Pecorino.

A photo posted by nan.K (@nannina.k) on

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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