Producer: Antonio Caputo
Recognized as a region that is beginning to live up to its vast potential, Campania is one of the most dynamic areas in Italy. The Appennine Ridge runs right through the heart of the region, resulting in vineyards located at 500 meters and higher. Chief among these regions is Taurasi, located in the inland province of Avellino. It achieved its DOCG status in 1993, and is among southern Italy’s most renowned red wines. Taurasi’s grape, Aglianico, benefits from the high altitude of the vineyards. With nighttime temperatures considerably cooler than those nearer the sea, ripeness is controlled and acidity preserved. Fiano is also grown in Avellino, and has benefited considerably from improvements in vinification techniques, resulting in an aromatic, luscious white. Not far from Taurasi is the village of Tufo, with predominantly volcanic tufa soil that is ideal for the production of local grape Greco di Tufo. Finally, located in the foothills of Mount Vesuvius lies Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio, which takes its name from an old legend saying that when Lucifer was cast out of heaven, he grabbed a chunk of paradise and carried it with him as he fell, dropping it on the coast of Italy, at the foot of Vesuvius, where it framed the bay of Naples. Seeing this loss, Jesus wept and the tears watered those slopes. Where they fell, vines miraculously sprang up, becoming the vineyards of Lacryma Christi.
Specializing in all these wines is Antonio Caputo of Enodelta. Although his grandfather had vineyards and owned one of the largest caves in the country (which served as natural refrigerators for wine storage), Antonio was not necessarily fated to be in the wine business. His parents wanted him to become a lawyer with a stable job, but he had other interests and a relentless entrepreneurial flair. He jumped head first into wine without capital and against the wishes of his parents. Caputo remembers that the beginnings were not easy, but he knew immediately that he was on the right path.
By the 1980s, when Antonio was in his early twenties, he had earned a little bit of money and with that, bought a lot of wine from a small producer. He then started to sell it, and learned that the market was favorable. After a few more years, he managed to start making his own wine on his own label. The wine was first called "il Cafoncello" or "the small peasant". He was able to purchase a modern automatic bottling line and began to bottle 8,000 bottles a day under the estate.
He continued to push himself and took on the challenge of growing quality Aglianico, Fiano and Greco di Tufo, even though very few people at the time were bottling these varietals. Antonio has since received awards and recognitions for his wine. Now Enodelta produces 500,000 bottles per year of IGT, DOC and DOCG wines.
LACRYMA CHRISTI DEL VESUVIO BIANCO
Appellation: Vesuvius White DOC
Varietal: Coda di Volpe, Falanghina