Campania vs Basilicata: Falanghina “stands up to the challenge”
One of the most popular varieties in the enological tradition of Campania, Falanghina has also found ideal conditions in Basilicata for making outstanding wines.

It all has to do with the soil – volcanic, in this case. It often happens in the Regions of Southern Italy: where there are volcanoes – whether active or dormant – the conditions for wine production reveal something special, even unique. We have a demonstration of this with Falanghina: a wine that, at heart, belongs to Campania, but which also offers surprisingly interesting scenarios in other terroirs where volcanic soil plays a dominant role.  So, here we are placing the spotlight on the excellence of Falanghina produced in Basilicata. In particular, the tuff that is typical of the zone around Mount Vulture displays characteristics that are well-nigh ideal for obtaining an exceptional Falanghina. This is not mere conjecture, but a fact confirmed by enologists and experts of world-class competence and prestige (Ian D’Agata, to name just one). These authoritative figures remind us that Falanghina is an eclectic wine, but one definitely with a mind of its own:  its primary notes may be understated in all of its favored terroirs, from Campania to Basilicata, but its secondary and tertiary aromas increase in expressiveness depending on the soil in which it puts down roots. In the distinctive conditions of Basilicata, therefore, one obtains Falanghinas that are very particular, which are capable of giving ecstatic excitement even to the most rigorous “purist” with regard to terroir.

A brilliant example is Paternoster’s Vulcanico, in which the tuff of Mount Vulture reveals what it is capable of. The origin of the soil in fact confers on this Falanghina a crisp, forthright note, which then develops towards a personality that is even more marked and unique, exactly as the experts’ commentaries describe.  To these characteristics, we can add its well-known property of being “one of the most long-lived white wines”: indeed, in the case of Paternoster’s Vulcanico, this can even mean record aging potential of ten years or more.

« We use the strain from the Phlegraean Fields – underlines Fabio Mecca, Paternoster’s enologist – which we planted on a volcanic soil similar to that in Campania. Our bunches, too, have good size and weight; they are loosely packed, but with the right amount of vigor. The fundamental difference is in the altitude: our vineyards in fact lie at around 650 meters above sea level, i.e. higher than those in Campania. The greater thermal excursions have an influence in particular on the grapes’ aromatic components, which in our case are very complex, revealing surprising vitality and elegance, especially in the tertiary notes ».

A curious fact: the original idea had been that of making a sparkling wine, in order to continue the company tradition and, because Falanghina must has substantial acidity, by counterbalancing the variety’s aromatic characteristics one can obtain a product of real note. Since 2016, thanks to the innovative input of the Tommasi Family, Paternoster has also concentrated on a still version, selecting the sites with the most volcanic soil: for this reason, the name “Vulcanico” has been given to the wine.