Vino Vino Situation presents Aglianico del Vulture from Basilicata. If people call it the "Barolo of Southern Italy", there must be a reason...

The wine of the week, Aglianico, comes from the region of Basilicata, in Southern Italy. if you’ve never heard of Basilicata, you’re in good company. Even Italians often forget about it! Just to give you an idea, a great movie called “Basilicata Coast to Coast” came out a few years ago. The protagonist introduced himself saying, “I must confess, I was born in Basilicata. Yes, Basilicata does exist.”

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In fact, Basilicata happens to be a wonderful region. It includes the city of Matera, known as città dei sassi (literally, “city of rocks”), and fairly famous, being also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Basilicata is rural and wild, with miles of deserted land. And that is why you should explore it!

Aglianico del Vulture production area

Mount Vulture in Basilicata, where Aglianico is produced (Credit: Michael Nielsen, via Flickr)

Aglianico from Basilicata: Lesser-known but noteworthy…

This small region produces one of the greatest red wines of Italy, Aglianico. Critics sometimes refer to it as the Barolo of the South”, due to its heavy tannic presence and similar organoleptic characteristics.

The region of Campania makes Aglianico too, but this time I’d like to focus on the Vulture area in Basilicata. The area takes its name from Mount Vulture, a now inactive volcano. Only a few hectares of land produce this native variety.

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Out of the few wineries that make Aglianico, let me highlight Cantine del Notaio (read here for other wineries and wines from Basilicata). Throughout its relatively short history, this company has shown a strong desire to valorize Aglianico, starting from taking care of the family’s vineyards. They’ve been able to take tradition and combine it with research, in order to obtain a high-quality product.

“L’Atto” is a single-variety Aglianico, refined in tonneaux barrels for 12 months, inside peculiar natural tuff caves. It is interesting how the volcanic tuff grottos have been restored and refurbished. Today, they form a sort of underground labyrinth underneath the town where Cantine del Notaio is located. The particular composition of these natural cellars allows an optimal control of temperature and humidity levels, perfect for refining this great wine!

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Aglianico “L’Atto”, has a deep ruby red color. At the nose, it reminds of berries and spices, and it’s bold and tannic at the tongue. The final result is an elegant and almost astringent wine, which pairs well with strong and complex meat dishes, especially those with red or game meat.

Enjoy your wine!


Wine maker: Cantine del Notaio
Name: Aglianico del Vulture IGT “L’Atto”
Region: Basilicata
Type: Still Red Wine
Grapes: Aglianico
Price: About $20


Working in wineries across Italy, I get to see how much passion goes into each bottle. With the Vino Vino Situation, every week I recommend a great Italian wine. These reviews are unsponsored and unsolicited. Salute!


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