Mount Vesuvio represents a unique contrast between ancient human history and recent volcanic activity that has shaped the entire surrounding landscape. For thousands of years the slopes and area around this active and explosive Volcano have been successfully cultivated and were always known for their fertility. The remarkable beauty, mild climate and agricultural wealth of this area was recognized by the Romans that named the region Campania Felix (“joyful countryside”). The Sorrentino family has been cultivating land on the Vesuvio’s southern slopes – just a few miles away from Pompei’s remains – for decades.
In the early nineties, Paolo Sorrentino and his wife Angela expanded their vineyards to the current 35 hectares. Today they are helped by their new generation with siblings Benigna, Maria Paola, and Giuseppe all involved in the family winery. Their vineyards sit between 200 and 700 metres above sea level and all have extremely heterogeneous volcanic soils. They are loose and complex with pumice, sand and lapilli derived directly from a succession of eruptions. The high porosity allows the vines to be grown without grafting.
The vineyards are planted with Caprettone, Coda di Volpe, Falanghina, Catalanesca and red varieties such as Aglianico and Piedirosso. On certain sites they have decided to keep unique tomato varieties such as the Piennolo among the vine rows: a homage to the traditional so-called ‘promiscuous cultivation’ that once dominated the Italian viticultural landscape.
The Catalò is made with the Catalanesca variety grown at an altitude of 400 meters above the sea level. The Catalanesca grape was imported in Campania from Catalonia in 15th century, and today can only be found in small plots in the province of Naples. For a long time this wine was classified as Vino d’Italia as until recently Catalanesca was not included in the list of grapes allowed to be used for Campania DOC wines. After pressing the grapes were carefully fermented and later matured in stainless steel. It has alluring aromatics and a complex balance between weight and freshness that is typical of this unique and rare variety.
The Vesuvio Lachryma Christi is made from Caprettone with 20% Falanghina grown at 500 meters above the sea. After harvesting and temperature-controlled fermentation the wine matured on the lees for a minimum of 8 months before racking and blending. The resulting wine is powerful yet elegant with complex aromatics. The Latikadea Falanghina is grown at slightly lower altitude around 300 metres. It is fermented and matured in stainless steel and released after a minimum of two years. It displays beautiful aromatics and is remarkably powerful and structured with an exceptionally long finish.