Volcanic Vineyard Bounty

Mount Vesuvius- Campania, Italy

Soils layered with molten rock, pulverized pumice, stones, ash and clay, Mount Vesuvius vineyards offer character and diversity. An eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 decimated Pompeii, Herculaneum and the surrounding areas. The volcanic soils are ideal for vineyards in an area of vast biodiversity including pine trees, lavender, and broom sung.  It is a panorama of breathtaking beauty during all months of the year.
Mt Vesuvius_emaze
The sides of Vesuvius are deeply scarred by past lava flows, and its lower slopes are extremely fertile, dotted with villages and covered with vineyards. Casa Setero‘s vineyards climb up the slopes of Vesuvius in Trecase. The area is protected by a National Park (per 1995).  The family grows traditional Campania varietals: Piedirosso, Aglianico, Falanghina and Caprettone.  Of these red varietals creates the blend the classic Lacryma Christi.

One of the few DOC’s in the area, Lacryma Christi (del Vesuvio), translates to “the tears of Christ on Vesuvius” and of course it comes with a story! The first legend is upon ascending to heaven Jesus wept tears of joy as he looked over the beautiful Bay of Naples which fell upon Mount Vesuvius. The second legend begins when an angry Lucifer is ejected from heaven, storming off with the fallen angels and a piece of “paradise”.  This lands on Mount Vesuvius, and is why Jesus cries. And another legend is that Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, sheds tears of joy which sprout the vineyards on the slopes of Vesuvius.  Regardless of which rendition you (or the winemaker) believes, it is the reasoning why on any bottle from the Mount Vesuvius the crown label has either red wax or an image of red wax dripping to represent “the tears of Christ on Vesuvius”.
Mt Vesuvius National Park_vineyards inside
Lacryma Christi red is a blend of Piedirosso, Sciascinoso and Aglianico grapes and the white varietals are typically blends of Verdeca, Coda di Volpe and Falanghina grapes. Fragrant, with scents of wild strawberries, raspberries and hints of aromatic herbs such as oregano and thyme  as well as wild flowers and violets.  On the palate, blueberries, tart cherries, pomegranate mingle with balsamic and subtle sea breeze notes.  Earth notes such as pine and volcanic ash are noted with a gentle tannic finish. Pairs with seafood, white meats, fresh cheeses, pizza, fish soups, white meats, roasted chicken, root vegetables and pulse soups.

One of Italy’s oldest grape varieties, and cultivated in Campania since ancient Roman times, Falanghina is the white wine of the region. Primarily cultivated in Campania, Falanghina can be located in Puglia and Abruzzo (Southern Italy).  Mount Vesuvius’ porous volcanic soils and the warm Mediterranean climate are an excellent environment for this beautiful, floral and citrusy white.  Tasting notes of citrus-blossom, bitter orange, summer apple and Bosc pear layered with minerality. Pair with pizza; combinations with pear, walnuts, Gorgonzola;  seafood cuisine, shellfish; vegetable and pulses soup, legumes; fresh cheeses; or even meats roasted in citrus or peppers.

Aglianico is one of the most widespread red varietals in southern Italy. Originally assumed to be of Greek origin, Jancis Robinson has suggested that the lack of DNA support and the strong Greek merchant activity in the height of growth most likely trends this belief, however Aglianico is mostly likely an indigenous Italian varietal.  It is a rich and full-bodied with notes of balsamic and pomegranate compote. Visualize a compote of rich red raspberry, currants, pomegranate and cherries mingled with an elegant minerality, hints of balsamic and subtle licorice. Tannic finish with medium acidity.  Pair with roasted meats, chicken, pomegranate, rich seafood, squash, roasted vegetables.


We hope you enjoyed our feature of Mount Vesuvius! Join us to try these wines at our shop:

  • Casa Setaro Lacryma Christi Reg. $19.99 | INSIDER $18.99 | Mixed Case 20% $15.19
  • Casa Setaro Aglianico Reg. $17.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | Mixed Case 20% $11.99
  • Casa Setaro Falanghina Reg. $19.99 | INSIDER $17.99 | Mixed Case 20% $14.39

Cheers!  Jaci