Greco di tufo

Greco Di Tufo: The Essence of Terroir

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Greco di Tufo DOCG is dry white wine most notable for its panorama of fruit and citrus aromas and profound flinty mineral quality.

Greco di Tufo DOCG

Greco di Tufo is a designation of origin (appellation) from Campania, in southern Italy. It is made entirely from the Greco grape variety. It was first recognized as a DOC (denominazione d’origine controllata) in 1970, and officially upgraded to superior DOCG (D’origine controllata e garantita) in 2003, for its unique character and particular ability to age with grace while remaining fresh and vibrant, which is not an easy feat for white wines grown in such hot, sunny areas.

Greco di Tufo History

The story of this wine, like so many Italian wines, has very deep roots. The grape variety Greco, or more generally, Greco Bianco, was already circulating the central Italian Peninsula during Roman times, and believed to arrived with Greek colonists, hence the name. It thrived in the hillsides surrounding Mount Vesuvio, just inland from the coast, where soils are rich in volcanic soils and glacial mineral deposits. It would later take on more specific local names like Greco del Vesuvio and Greco di Nola, the latter of which would eventual make its way from the town of Nola to the town of Tufo where it truly took off.

greco di tufo grapes

Greco di Tufo Wine

In 1647, the Di Marzo family fled their home in Nola which was beset by a terrible plague. They relocated to nearby and plague-free Tufo, and they brought cuttings from their winery with them. Among grape varieties was the Greco di Nola, which took excellently to the well-drained soils and sun-drenched slopes.

A Secret in the Soil

What they didn’t know at the time, but discovered in the mid 19th Century, was that just below the surface of their vineyards were vast sulfur deposits, also known as brimstone. As the legend goes, Francesco di Marzo was galloping on the grounds of the estate when he spotted some shepherds warming their hands of burning rocks. In fact, sulfur, in its purest solid form ignites. It is also an essential natural fertilizer and fungicide vital to agriculture. The Di Marzo family saw an opportunity and developed a mining industry in the area that not only served the surrounding farmers, but also proved jobs and boosted the local economy.

greco di tufo

Deep Roots and the DOC

The Di Marzo family, along with the region and the Greco grape thrived. They ultimately registered their winery with the local chamber of commerce in 1833, making them the oldest official winery in Campania, and one of the oldest in southern Italy. While the winery, now called Cantine di Marzo, has changed hands a few times, it remains property of the same family tree. Through their influence and unprecedented success with with the Greco variety, they were instrumental in the official designation of origin (DOC) Greco di Tufo in 1970.

Greco di Tufo DOCG Production

Greco di Tufo

To be considered a DOCG, the wines must be grown and produced within the Province of Avellino, in the communes of Tufo, Altavilla Irpina, Chianche, Montefusco, Prata di Principato Ultra, Petruro Irpino, Santa Paolina, and Torrioni.

It must contain at minimum 85% Greco grapes and a maximum of 15% local variety Coda di Volpe. It is generally produced as a dry white wine, but is also permitted as a Spumante, made in the classic method, aka Méthode Champenoise.

Greco Di Tufo Tasting Notes

LOOK

Generally consumed on the younger side, the wines are straw yellow, often green and gold-tinted.

SMELL

Greco di Tufo is a cornucopia of fruit and flowers. Lemon, lime, orange flower, white peach, and wild flowers abound. Almond and ripe peach as well as the quintessential flinty note.

TASTE

Expect a blast of fresh acidity and mouthwatering minerality from start to finish.

DISCUSS

Greco di Tufo is the essence of terroir. It exudes mineral a mineral quality that speaks not only to the volcanic soil below, but the nearby sea. It is also a slice (or glass, rather) of history every time, as the wine has deep documented roots.

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