It’s been three years since we moved to the Sannio and as memories of the big city fade, an ever-increasing regard for the process of Nature unfolds before me. While walking my dog I welcome the morning dew. I smell the earth, sense the weather and delight in the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables appena colti. Springtime is luscious in every sense: there is a promise of good things, in the greenness of the grass, the budding fruit trees, the climbing pea stalks and the sweet smell of jasmine.
Cantine Aperte takes place on the last Sunday in May and is a perfect occasion to appreciate all this in a single day and to learn what makes the wines in this area so special. For me and the wines of the Sannio, it is the roses…everywhere.
This might seem like a feeble attempt at waxing poetic, but it’s basically true. The oenological reality of this territory is still one of small, single-estate producers that heralds back to a time when families lived off the land and worked their orchards. And so it was that before the advent of metal wire, farmers used their fruit trees as a support for the grape vines. And since the different crops were hand-picked it was easy to harvest (for example) the pears without damaging the grapes and vice versa.
It is wonderful to see the vestiges of this tradition in the Sannio which is why a well-made Aglianico will taste of wild berries, violets, walnut and tobacco and a good Falanghina will speak of apples and almonds and the presence of jasmine and roses.