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Records show that wine making has been going on in this region since the 13th century B.C. As much else in this region, traditionally wines are intended for immediate pleasure and consumption. This has led many to consider the local wines as second-class products, a thought strongly expressed by Burton Anderson in his 1990 “Wine Atlas of Italy”, where he bluntly states that the noteworthy winemakers in the region could be “counted on one’s fingers”.
The last decades of the last century though, have seen a dynamic resurgence in Campania and distinctive wines have popped up in many provinces, bringing the DOC denominations from nine in 1975 to 19 by the end of 2000.
Especially in the Taurasi DOCG zone, a handful of winemakers have been pro-actively producing wide arrays of notable reds and whites that have acquired national respect. In addition to Taurasi, there are two other “boutique” reds that debuted in 1994 and have since acquired a respectable status in Italy.
The arguably best-known Campania wine is the Lacrima Christi or, “Tears of Christ”. Though, in the past, it was so overproduced that it almost ruined its reputation, in more recent years serious efforts have been made by local winemakers to restore its former status and have so far met with some success.
Campania has several native grapes such as Fiano, a grape known to the Romans as Viti Apiana, Greco, that was first introduced by the Greeks, Coda di Volpe, so named by Pliny after the shape of the grape cluster and Pedirosso.