The Aglianico grape variety has been grown in southern Italy for centuries, particularly in the regions of Basilicata and Campania, where it was probably introduced by the Greeks during the founding of their colonies. There are numerous theories as to how the grape acquired its name, but it is believed to derive from Ellenico or Ellanico (“Hellenic” in English).
The variety thrives in hilly terrain of volcanic origin, which is typically clayey, calcareous and of strong composition. From a viticultural point of view, the Aglianico is a slow-growing grape, and therefore late to ripen. In the regions of interior Basilicata, grape picking takes place during the last ten days in October and the first ten days in November.
Production quantity varies greatly from region to region, from 40-50 square liters per hectare to 100 in the most fertile zones. Sugar levels at harvest, particulaly in favorable vintages, can be very high, resulting in an excellent acid content. The D.P.R. of February 18, 1972 awarded the variety the denominazione di origine controllata, or D.O.C.: “Aglianico del Vulture”.
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