Monday, May 2, 2011

An Ancient Corner of Castel Campagnano...Where Reds Go to Rest...

Castel Campagnano. A small community in the Caserta Province. With a small centro storico. With an immaculate piazza that houses the town hall. And a cantina that dates back to the 4th century.
A cantina that was rediscovered and acquired sometime ago by Manuela Piancastelli and Peppe Mancini from Terre del Principe. And what a discovery. Because underneath, 15 meters deep down, another surprise. An area used for wine making and storing wine dating back to the 10th century. Manuela and Peppe believed that this area…with a constant temperature of 10° C and a humidity level of around 75% would be the perfect place for their reds. Last spring they began to move their bottles and over 100 barriques to this little underground resting place.

And on Sunday, May 1st, they added another chapter to their winery’s history by inviting friends to their share in their excitement. As medieval music lightly played, Manuela and Peppe were joined by their wine maker Prof. Luigi Moio. Moio, who explained the importance of this haven for their wines. How important it was to have this constant year round temperature. Variances in temperatures can destroy a wine, he explained. A wine that is a living thing. How wines don’t age…but are being refined…are resting.

A look around at the tufo stoned walls, it was hard not to notice the markings made by hand made tools, the touch of moisture on the walls and stairs. Looking up to the high ceilings, one could almost imagine what went on many many years ago. One could think back to the dangers of fermenting wine underground. Dangers that Luigi Moio mentioned in his brief presentation. Dangers that included death due to the fumes given off.

But there was no danger that day. And as we headed back up into the sunshine, we were led to a courtyard. A courtyard full of friends. Full of refreshments such as Terre del Principe’s rosè, pizza, mozzarella, and conciato romano. But most notably, a courtyard full of well wishes for Terre del Principe and their new old cantina.

Italian Version


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