From the Amalfi Coast to the Aeolian Islands for a “divine” tour
The excellence of southern Italian wines has always been known, for millennia, since Roman times and before the Greeks. The “Mediterranean” wines have always won countless awards. And I, incessantly wandering around the large tables of starred restaurants, I had the opportunity to try excellent ones. Let’s start from the Amalfi Coast, one of the most fascinating and gastronomically interesting places in southern Italy. At the Art Hotel Villa Fiorella in Massa Lubrense at the gourmet restaurant Terrazza Fiorella the sommelier Tiziano Imperato has focused on abroad, so much so that the common passion of the patron Alberto Colonna has allowed the recognition of a decidedly important award: in 2020 the Wine Spectator recognition has counted the cellar of the Terrazza Fiorella as “Best of Award of Excellence” with over 500 labels that embrace the Italian wine scene and with many particularities from all over the world. “My desire is that the customer can have fun in finding and tasting that wine that he may have only heard about and that he has never tried” says Tiziano Imperato. “A wide choice, therefore, that goes from the most famous wineries to small businesses, to tell mainly stories of winemaking myths and men. Great attention goes to territoriality and Campania with the wines of Avellino, Ischia, as well as those of the Coast. We also periodically organize theme nights; we recently tasted the Brunello Selezione Madonna delle Grazie from the Il Marroneto winery ”says Imperato. A unique aperitif is also the one from the terrace of the Relais Blu, Michelin star in Termini, the small village in the municipality of Massa Lubrense: the chef Alberto Annarumma, author of a cuisine that reveals solid Italian roots, but also contaminations from France and Japan. “Our wine list is designed both as an expression of our land, the watershed between the Sorrento Peninsula and the Amalfi coast, renowned for its heroic viticulture, and to offer our international customers a range of the best Italian and foreign labels for enhance our creative cuisine to the fullest “says the owner Antonino Acampora. Moving to the heart of Naples, at the Grand Hotel Parker’s, the oldest hotel in Naples, inside we find the starred George, which boasts 135 wineries on paper (not labels ), traditionally like the street number. A 100% Italian presence except for a champagne list (but only with small vignerons) and a strong presence from Campania. “Post pandemic, in contrast with our colleagues, we decided to expand the wine list, going from 135 labels to the same number of wineries “says the sommelier Enrico Moschella.” We also have an extra gear: we can count on the wines of the Avallone family, the property, Villa Matilde was the first winery to produce Falerno in amphora ”.
Another important paper is that of Borgo Egnazia, in Savelletri, in Puglia, with over 1000 labels. “Over half is dedicated to the best of the Apulian production, choosing in particular native vines and the most distinctive vintages” says the Wine Experience Manager Giuseppe Cupertino. “The rest of the card was made with exclusive rarities and memorable wines that I have personally collected in the travels of the last few years. Lately we have been dedicating ourselves to the collection of historical vintages of Apulian and Italian blazon wines ”. Our journey ends in Sicily, with the cellar of the Signum restaurant, personally supervised by the owner of the hotel in Salina, Luca Caruso. Over 1200 labels that accompany in a sensual dance the dishes of her sister, Martina Caruso, one of the youngest starred chefs in Italy. “Our focus is always on the Mediterranean and aimed at discovering the richness of the wine heritage of Salina and the Aeolian Islands, as well as many champagnes, Italian bubbles. We want to try many vintages also quoted by the glass ”says Luca Caruso. And the island is contested by another great excellence: Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia, immersed in the splendid wine-growing setting of Tasca d’Almerita, where, as the name of the structure tells us, the inn is surrounded by the rows of Malvasia, 4.5 hectares of vineyard refined by terraces with Aeolian columns, boungaville and shady reeds. But you can also find all the proposals of one of the most important families in Sicily, from Regalali, to Tascante, Whitaker and Sallier de La Tour.