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David Bowler Wine is very pleased to offer, for the first time in the United States, the singular wines of Contrada Salandra (Dolci Qualita’). Giuseppe Fortunato, an engineer turned farmer, and his wife, Sandra, live in Pozzuoli, Campi Flegrei, in the province of Naples, Campania. Their tiny farm, consisting of an apiary and 2.5 hectare of vines (another 2 hectare are leased from a friend), is a sanctuary of agricultural peace amidst the urban sprawl of Naples. The vines were extant when Giuseppe’s father bought the property in 1980. Their vineyards, planted entirely to ungrafted vines of Falanghina and Piedirosso, are located at between 90 and 110 meters above sea level and are rich in sand, clay and silt (quartz & feldspar) above a base of igneous rock.
The area itself is remarkable; the Campi Flegrei (Phlegraean Fields) DOC is a large volcanic area of craters and thermal springs, all of which are the remains of an immense underwater volcano that had Pozzuoli at its center. The Romans believed this area to be the mythological home of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan. Even now, one can visit the Solfatara crater, with its active fumaroles.
Practicing viticulture and beekeeping is an act of resistance in these parts, where the tiny vineyards must compete with real estate developers. Giuseppe does his best to maintain biological diversity in these beautiful organic vineyards that overlook the sea, which is a mere 2km as the crow flies. The Falanghina is trained using guyot training while the Piedirosso is trained to pergolas known locally as pergola pozzuoli or sylvoz.
For a nice video (in Italian) on Contrada Salandra and a few more words of enthusiasm (in English), click here.