Tag Archives: Asprinio

In Campania Where Sparkling Wine Grows on Trees

27 Aug

 

Vite Maritata

Vite Maritata

 

I have a thing for bizarre wines.  Especially if they’re white.  Doubly so if they’re sparkling.  Just so happens I came across such a fascinating find the other day, an Italian sparkler called Grotta del Sole Asprinio d’Aversa.  Admittedly, I had no idea what it was, but a little cursory research via the Oxford Companion to Wine (Many thanks, Jancis.) turned up two facts: 1) that Asprinio is a specialty of Campania; and 2) that it is likely identical to Greco di Tufo.  A little more digging on the internet and another fun fact emerged:  this particular variety grows on trees.  That’s right, the vines are actually intertwined with poplar trees in a traditional method called vite maritata, or married vine.  They can reach 30 or even 50 meters in height, meaning farmers with ladders custom-made for the purpose are required to harvest them.  So while I’m blogging, emailing, and Twittering away, a farmer in a little corner of Italy is climbing a narrow, handmade ladder to check on his Asprinio grapes.  Sigh.

Having found this bottle and done this little bit of research reminds me why I love wine.  Beacause it’s beautiful in its simplicity, and it connects us to humanity in a way Facebook never will.     

Would love to know if anyone has experience with other interesting traditional harvest techniques…

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