I’m going to admit, up front, that I have a lot of love for this area and its wines. Insofar as I like Naples (centro), my real love is the beauty of its bay, the little known wine region of Flegrei, and, of course, the coffee, or caffè. It’s only after one escapes the gravity of the city of Naples, that the real beauty of the land and villages begins to truly glow. It’s a very diverse region, both in terms of its culture, and its topography.
The drive from Naples to Avellino becomes much more interesting, and beautiful, as you near the National Park. Once you’re past the southern end of the park, you’ve entered the Province of Avellino, home to some of my favorite, every-day white wines; we’ve probably consumed 50+ cases over the years, I don’t even keep them in inventory any more as we go through them so fast. The same can be said of the Greco di Tufo variety, we go through a lot of them. High quality wines with soul, and reasonably priced, what’s not to like, erm, love? A well-grown Fiano d’Avellino can age 20 years – something I’d no idea of before tasting several older examples.
Further east from the center of Avellino, you’ll quickly come across some familiar names – Mastroberardino, Feudi di San Gregorio, as well as a good handful of lesser-known names (i.e. less historical); some good wines (and people!) to be found, nonetheless.
Have some extra time? Travel just a bit to the northeast, and you’re in Taurasi. And while I don’t find the village of Taurasi anything particularly engaging, I do genuinely love the wines grown just outside the village proper (read: pull off the road and have a picnic lunch in the vineyards!).
If you’re also a fan of the wines from this area, then check in regularly, as I plan to devote a fair amount of attention to them. And Piedirosso? Don’t even get me started, love that stuff!
So the next time you’re in Naples, get out of Naples! Head to the countryside and the dozens of great wineries a short drive (~45 minutes) away.