This native variety is mainly grown in Southern Italy, in the regions of Campania and Basilicata. Brought here by the Greeks thousands of years ago, the black Aglianico grape, named ‘Hellenic’, is grown as far north as Lazio, as it is grown in Molise, Puglia and Calabria in the south.
Nicknamed the ‘Barolo of the South’, this late-ripening grape, which is high in acidity and thrives on volcanic soil, resembles Nebbiolo (of Barolo and Barbareco fame in Piemonte) in many ways. Together with Sangiovese, these three are considered Italy’s noble grape varieties.
With a relatively small production, this variety is commonly blended with other southern varieties, such as the local Piedirosso or Primitivo of Puglia. Its varietal wines are dark-coloured (almost inky-black), full-bodied with firm tannins, and aromas and flavours of black fruit and dark chocolate. At its best, it is one of Italy’s finest reds, with its darkness, power and quality.