Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vineyard Hopping - Cantine Villa Dora, Terzingo (Na)



A glass of wine one mid-July evening did more to quench my thirst.  It sparked my interest and curiosity.
A glass of Cantine Villa Dora's Vigna del Vulcano Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio DOC Bianco 2012.
A glass of wine that led me to a town called Terzigno, near Pompeii, in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius.  It led me through the gates of Cantine Villa Dora, down a volcanic road past towering vineyards and impressive olive groves.  It led me to Giovanna Ambrosio, who had just finished up a long day of bottling wines and was ready to spend some time talk about her family's winery.
Exiting from the car to stretch my legs before entering into the small cantina,  I took a look at the area around me. Blackish grey soil typical of these parts, volcanic rocks made into planters, a gazebo hosting   grapes and welcome any vineyard hopper to discover the territory.





It is here where Giovanna begins her story.  The winery began back in 1997 when her father,Vincenzo Ambrosio decided to revamp the existing vineyards that were on the property and transform the vines focusing on grapes that would produce quality and not quantity.  These vines proudly produce the winery's Lacryma Christi red and white wines. Three reds;  Gelsonero, Vesuvio Rosso , and Forgiato  (produced only during particular vintages).  A rose'; Gelsorosa.  And two whites; Vesuvio Bianco, and Vigna del Vulcano which I had been introduced to a couple of weeks earlier.
Walking around the winery, Giovanna pointed out the stainless steel vats, the barrel room and family's stock of older vintages which Vincenzo Ambrosio strongly believes in the importance of holding onto.






I had tasted the 2012 so I was curious about older vintages.  But that would come later.  First a visit to the vineyards - 8 hectares of  Aglianico, Piedirosso, Falanghina and Coda di Volpe growing on vines trained using the Vesuvian arbor system as well as Guyot.










Vento and sole...Giovanna pointed out.  Wind and sunshine.  All day, everyday. It was hard not to notice and appreciate the hard work that goes into maintaining the vineyards.
Gorgeous and impressive.

We headed past the olive groves and olive oil mill on our way back to the winery.  (Yes, the family produces oil as well from the century old olive trees and  I could almost picture the activity at harvest time.)

We arrived to the villa which serves as the winery's showroom and area for receptions, lunches, dinners, and of course, tastings.  And since it was Vigna del Vulcano that had led me here, Giovanna decided to open a bottle of that same white wine, but an older vintage.  We went back in time to 2006. A Campanian white nearly nine years after the harvest.  Beautiful light golden color.  Still fresh and flavorful once again proving how whites from the region can stand the test of time.


Giovanna Ambrosio



It was time to go.  But not before noticing what else the winery produces, including a grappa as well as getting a chance to check out a couple of new wine labels featuring a smoking Mt Vesuvius.



A Mt Vesuvius that watches over this interesting and underrated territory.

Cantine Villa Dora
Via Bosco Mauro, 1
Terzigno (Na)
081 529 5016

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