By Giacomo Peroni
Southern Italian wines are experiencing a recent revitilization. Not only does the south produce most of Italy’s wine, it now produces some of the highest quality and most interesting wines in the world — there is no better demonstration of the synergy of food and wine, than in Italy.
Apulia, the heel of the Italian boot, is a long, relatively level region, ranks first in annual Italian wine production and features excellent dry, balanced reds from native varietals like the Nero di Troia. One such red wine is the “Il Falcone” from Rivera. It is from Apulia’s leading DOC zone and is an intense, full-bodied red with a noble bouquet that is dry, robust and rich in flavour.
The Rivera winery has used the name “Il Falcone”, the falcon, to commemorate Emperor Frederick II of Swabia who built the castle called Castel del Monte near Andria so he could indulge his passion for falconry. This castle later gave its name to the surrounding D.O.C. zone. Il Falcone is obtained from old vines, grown in calcareous soils and in particular positions. Old clones of the Nero di Troia and Montepulciano varieties are grown on these vines that form small unique vineyards.
This explains why the production of “Il Falcone” is limited to few numbered bottles and only produced in those years which provide the characteristics necessary for a wine to age for a long time.
The ancient and largest Mediterranean island of Sicily now boasts one of Italy’s most modern wine industries. Noted chiefly in the past for strong and often sweet amber Marsala, Sicily has rapidly switched its emphasis toward lighter, dryer white and red wines. Temperatures tend to run towards hot and arid resulting in ideal conditions for grape cultivation…a process Corvo has refined in the production of Corvo Bianco and Rosso. Corvo Bianco is made from Inzolia, Cataratto and Grecanico grapes and is a subtle and delicately fruity wine with a fresh and lively taste. Created by the Villafranca prince and Duke of Salaparuta in 1824, Corvo has long been considered the standard bearer of Sicilian wine. Rising to prominence in restaurants the world over, no name has been more familiar to lovers of Italian tradition than Corvo.