Viticulture and wine industry in Campania are strictly tied with the Greek colonisation of Southern Italy and the rise of the city of Rome afterwards. Campania was not only the summer playground for the wealthy Romans but was also an important source of food and wine for the city and it was so celebrated by writers such us Pliny the Elder, Columella and Virgil.
Masseria Frattasi is a hidden pearl, one of those difficult to find, located in Montesarchio in Northern Campania, an inland area west of the town of Benevento where the climate is more comparable to Piedmont rather than the full-on Mediterranean climate of the coastal areas near the Vesuvius. Masseria Frattasi has a history of several centuries behind. Originally founded back in 1779, Masseria Frattasi has given a new lease of life by Pasquale Clemente. He is the man behind Masseria Frattasi; he is a journalist with a passion for wine and contagious enthusiasm. Here, 2000 years ago, the Romans were defeated by the Samnites, a local tribe, in the famous battle of the ‘Forche Caudine’. The Clemente family has always played a primary role in the enhancement of wine production in the Montesarchio area on the slopes of Monte Taburno and has made miracles with the Falanghina del Sannio.
The vineyards are implanted on volcanic soil adorning the slopes of the Mount Taburno. Here, grapes have been growing since Roman times. It is in this magical place in the southern Apennines between 400 and 900 metres above sea level, where old native grape varieties are turned into some of the finest wines from Southern Italy. Some of the vines are nearly 200 years old and they are still managed using an ancient training system method, the “tennecchia”, a sort “raggiera” (spokes of a wheel) with very few plants per acre. The vines grow amongst centuries old olive trees which offer support to the brunches of the vines.
The vineyards are perfectly integrated with the nature of the Mount Taburno which is the home of forests of ancient oak and chestnut trees and other plants and fruits. There is natural harmony in the vineyards of Masseria Frattasi which is then transferred to the winery. There is a broad commitment to made wines in a natural way, from grapes grown without chemical inputs and left to express themselves with minimal intervention from the winemaker.
A combination of altitude, climate, and geology makes the perfect environment that suits different grapes that Pasquale grows. The volcanic and marl soils at higher altitude boost the acidity and aroma in the indigenous white varieties, Falanghina, Fiano, Greco, and Coda di Volpe. The most important black grape of this area, the Aglianico, the “Lord of the South”, has its home on white calcareous rocky soil and sandstone.