The history of Greco di Tufo

Greco di Tufo is an Italian wine that benefits from the DOCG ( Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) mention . It is defined as a Rosso disguised as a White, grown in the heart of Irpinia; or the province of Avellino

The "Greco di Tufo" Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin wine can be processed in the "sparkling" type with the method of refermentation in the bottle (classic method) as long as it is aged for at least 36 months in the bottle starting from November 1st of the year. of the harvest.

Greco di Tufo, as per disciplinary, is vinified in 8 municipalities: Tufo, Altavilla Irpina, Chianche, Montefusco, Prata di Principato Ultra, Petruro Irpino, Santa Paolina and Torrioni.

To be regulated, the Greco di Tufo DOCG is released on the market 2 years after the harvest.

The Greco di Tufo vineyards cling to clayey, sandy soils or limestone (even dolomitic) rocks from 300 to 650 meters along the valley of the Sabato river, a left tributary of the more famous Calore river. It rises from the window hill on Mount Terminio on the opposite side from where the Calore Irpino originates, between the Picentini Mountains, the backbone of Irpinia.

The thermal, hydrometric and anemometric conditions that characterize the area are almost ideal for a maturation process characterized by graduality and balance between sugar content and acidity, allowing the obtaining of fine winemaking productions. This favorable situation is clearly due to the geographical position and the orography of the territory. The climatic trend both from the thermal and precipitation point of view is strongly influenced by the numerous hectares of woods that cover the mountains that characterize the surrounding environment and which disfavour overheating. In general, the winter weather is harsh, not of
there is rarely snowfall, as the summer climate is quite mild.

The cultivation of vines in the area is lost in the mists of time, intimately connected to the flow of the river Sabato that crosses it and which derives its name from the people of the Sabines, whose eponym was Sabus (Cat. Apd. DYONIS, II, 49 ; LIB. VIII, 41) or Sabatini, a Samnite tribe settled in the basin of the Sabatus river (Livio). Along the bends of the river, the ancient roads still ran and still run today, joining Irpinia to Sannio and allying the Irpine and Sannite tribes. The area strengthened as a settlement and progress nucleus for viticulture in the 19th century thanks to the discovery of enormous sulfur deposits in the municipality of Tufo. The presence and availability of sulfur will help the explosion of vine cultivation throughout Irpinia, simultaneously giving rise to the "sulfur plating" technique that allowed the bunches to be protected from external pathogens. Evidence of the constant presence of the vine as an economic sustenance for local populations is given by the bibliography which deals with the social and economic evolution of the area in the period between the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century.

Among the various sources, the "Apprezzo del Feudo della Baronia di Montefusco of 1704" (parish archive of S. Angelo a Cancello, fasc. 2/16) where it is noted that over 61% of the land of the fief was occupied by vineyards . A large part of the territory of the fiefdom is, still today, corresponding to today's municipalities of Montefusco and S. Paolina.
Similarly, the report of the land registry of 29 May 1815, made by the mayor of Tufo and by the decurional body, attests that the vine covered approximately 286 tomoli of earth which is a slightly smaller surface than that which currently occupies the same culture. In the nineteenth century the wine-growing activity of the entire province, with a production exceeding one million hectoliters widely exported, and of the Greco di Tufo area, are the economic backbone of the agricultural economy of the years and of the social fabric. to lead to the construction of the first railroad of Irpinia, shortly thereafter properly called the "wine railway", which connected the best and largest wine production centers of the Saturday and Calore hills directly with the major Italian and European markets. In particular in the area of ​​the Greco, still today, there are two stations still existing: Tufo and Prata

On a scientific level, the technical-economic value of Greco di Tufo's productions is recognized in all the studies of ampelography and enology that have followed over time:
The Greco Bianco di Tufo vine is described in the Ampelographie by Viala and Vermol (1909): << .... Greco Bianco di Tufo: vine from the southern regions of Italy and especially from the province of Avellino, highly appreciated and much cultivated for the superior quality of its wine, of a golden-yellow color; it is probably the Twin Amine of the ancient authors; it is also the vine that was cultivated in the 1st century BC on the slopes of Vesuvius …… >>.

Finally worthy of mention is the definition given by Prof. Garoglio in the treatise “New Enology”: << Very valuable white wine, with an intense, very pleasant aroma, with a delicate, aromatic flavor, whose production must be encouraged by all means. The prevailing form of training in the specialized vineyard of the area in question is the espalier, with guyot pruning and spurred cordon with reduced buds per vine aimed at obtaining grapes with a qualitatively excellent and well balanced wine making potential. This system, in the last thirty years, has progressively supplanted the ancient “Avellinese System”. The sixth of plant more
frequently used for new plants is m. 2.40 x m. 1.00. >>