Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rocca di Montemassi, One Of Maremma (Tuscany) Wineries by Philip S. Kampe

                                                       Rocca di Montemassi

Awareness for the wines from Maremma (Tuscany) is in full swing. The DOC wines have a unique bouquet and are easily recognizable on the nose. The palate characteristics varies from varietal to varietal, whether indigenous or an international grape.

Maremma is home to Roses, Vermention, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Everyone knows Tuscany, but few know Maremma, the region along the Mediterranean coast. It is an area where ‘cowboys’ still exist.

Maremma is still undiscovered.

The wines are waiting to be discovered.

Thanks the initiative of of the Consorzio Tutela Vini della Maremma Toscana, the word is getting out. With only a two hour drive from Florence, Maremma is within reach. Sangiovese, like the rest of Tuscany, is the main varietal that is used.

The local clone, Morellino produces the local wine, Morelliono di Scansano. The local microclimate produces wines that interesting on both the nose and the palate.

Two wines that are of interest come from the winery, Rocca di Montemassi. The 2017 Calasole Verminto is a DOC white wine that is made with 100% Vermentino grape that is 13% alcohol. The wine is straw yellow with green edges. Lots of citrus overtones mixed with a shot of minerality.  The palate is crisp and clean, with a pronounced white stone fruit bouquet. The wine is smooth and a wonderful wine for seafood.

The second wine, a red, Rocca di Montemassi Le Focale is a 100% Sangiovese with 13.5% alcohol. It’s ruby red in color. The nose has a deep floral aroma, followed by ripe blueberries, blackberries and dark cherries. Tannins are minimal.

There are many wines to choose from.
Maremma is Italy’s future.

Philip S. Kampe


Villa Raiano, Campania's Friendly Winery by Philip S. Kampe & Maria Reveley

Who: Villa Raiano
Where: Campania (Avellino)
When: Established in 1996
Founders: Simone, Basso, Sabino Basso, Paolo Sibillo
Consultant Winemaker: Fortunato Sebastiano
Property:40 acres planted in the 'Irpinia' hills near Avellino
Production: 300,000 bottles
Wines Produced: Sparkling, Rose, Taurasi, Grappa, Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, Falaghina and Aglianico

Tradition and Family is what Villa Raiano is all about. Family members, Federico and Brunella Basso are running the family business. Young, adventurous and family based, this duo has the skills to turn Villa Raiano into a wine that is known for elegance, worldwide.

Their wines, which are classics of the region, Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo are made with precise skill and appropriate aging before their release.

Winemaker and Consultant, Fortunato Sebastiano makes many wines using an egg, where the wine ferments without the use of wood. This is a new project for the vineyard and is in the initial stages. Economically, the eggs can last a lifetime, thus saving the vineyard extra expense in purchasing new oak barrels continuously.

At a tasting of wines at the vineyard, with the winemaker and Federico Basso, it was easy to understand why Campania is home to three DOCG wines- a larger number then most other Italian regions. The prize wines of Campania include Fiano di Avellino (white), Greco di Tufo (white) and Taurasi (red).

All of the DOCG wines are produced at Villa Raiano, many of which have won awards, including a spot in Tres Buccheri, the most esteemed wines in Italy.

In 2009, Villa Raiano was relocated to its present location, sitting high on top of a hill, overlooking the valley of the river Sebato, in the town of San Michele di Serino. The cellar has the newest and most advanced winemaking and storage technology, while the building is architecturally renowned.

Working with native grapes, organically grown, gives Villa Raiano the necessary tools to play to a worldwide audience.

The company is poised to grow, when the times comes, to full capacity of 450,000 bottles. Presently, Villa Raiano is in the process of enlarging, so, that they will have the space necessary for future growth.

Visit www.villaraiano.it to learn more about this DOCG, Campania, family-run company.

Philip S. Kampe
Maria Reveley

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Winery Villa Raiano Loves Campania And Its Traditions by Philip S. Kampe & Maria Reveley

                                                      Federico Basso
                                           Simone Basso and his wife

                             Brunella and Federico Basso plus the Mascot

                                     Villa Raiano and the love of Irpinia, Campania

Campania is where my wife’s mother and family is from. She (Anna) was born on the beautiful Isle of Capri in 1911. When Anna was a child, her family came to America and opened a business in Hoboken, New Jersey, the home of Frank Sinatra.

What I learned from Anna was how proud and loyal she was to Campania, its people and the land. The rolling hills along the Amalfi Coast to Naples and Avellino is dotted with walled villages, ancient ruins and towering churches.

Campania is a land full of vineyards, pizza made famous in Naples, special lemons for the production of limoncello and prize buffalo milk for the making of mozzarella di bufala. Gastronomically, with the sea nearby and spaghetti alla vongole on every table, its hard not to love the epicurean delights of Campania.

San Marzano tomatoes thrive in the volcanic soil that is the base for many vineyards in Campania. Winemaking began in the 7th century B.C.

On a recent trip to Campania, I had the opportunity to spend time with the Basso family, a family proud of their background. Campania meant as much to them as my mother-in-law. Choosing to show us Pompeii and Pasteum was of equal value as showing us their winery and olive oil factory.

Pride is how you can describe those from Campania.

In today’s world, the Basso family and their dedication to their region rings strong among the chaos the 21st century has  shown us.

Villa Raiano, near Avellino, an hour or so from Naples, is home and namesake of the vineyard.

” Irpinia is our land” was the title of the booklet that one of the new faces of Villa Raiano, Brunella Basso handed out upon arrival to the vineyard. Her cousin, Federico Basso, brother of Brunella, is the other new face at Villa Raiano. Between the two of them they will run and market their wines worldwide.

Fabrizio Basso, a cousin,  is an integral part of the other family jewel, Basso olive oil. During his free time, he hangs out at the vineyard.

Villa Raiano produces 300,000 bottles a year, with a capacity to add another 150,000 bottles when the time comes. Fortunato Sebastiano is their consultant winemaker and Gabrizia Cellai is responsible for overseas sales, along with marketing guru, Brunella Basso.

The staff at Villa Raiano is tight knit. No egos, just positive energy.

And the positive energy carries over to their wines. The indigenous varieties of Campania carry over to high quality wines, whose characteristic is the terroir of Irpinia.

Tradition is what Villa Raiano is about.

                 ”Irpinia is our land”
Fertile land of Irpinia, daughter of the Wolf, proud
of its traditions and history, just like us, who
in this land, in our land, have decided to carry
On the family business

Identity of a place,
identity of ancient flavors.

The estate at Villa Raiano was established in 1996 by Simone and Sabino Basso and brother-in-law Paolo Sibillo. The property has over 40 acres, planted around the hills of the ‘Irpinia’ area in Avellino. Classic wines from the region are produced: Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, Falaghina, Aglianico and Taurasi.

The wines from Villa Raiano plus the small batch Grappa and Sparkling wine are worthy of an article on their own, which, will be posted shortly.

The winery, with gravity feed, is a work of art and should be seen if you are in or near the Avellino area. Trains leave daily from Naples.

The Basso's and their mascot will greet you with open arms?

Visit www.VillaRaiano.com  to learn more about this wonderful Irpinia winery.

Philip S. Kampe


                                                     Journalist Philip S. Kampe

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