The Wine: Asprinio Publius 2019
Gaia Felix Asprinio Publius is a sparkling natural wine made from 100% Asprinio grapes grown on volcanic soils, near Caserta, Campania, Southern Italy. Asprinio is a Campania native grape varietal trellised on trees. This is a frizzante wine, some additional must is used to trigger the second fermentation in the bottle.
The Producer: Gaia Felix
Gaia Felix is a tiny estate of only 3 hectares located in Villa Literno, Caserta, Campania region. At Gaia Felix winemaking is natural and the grape varietal used is exclusively the rare Asprinio, indigenous to Campania. Asprinio is a one of a kind grape varietal, it's trellised on trees.
The Region: Campania
Campania is located in Southern Italy, it borders with Lazio (north), Abruzzo (northeast), Puglia (east), Basilicata (southeast), and with the Tyrrhenian Sea (west). The capital of Campania is Naples, which is also its biggest city and economic center.
Off the coast of Campania there are several islands, most notably Ischia, the biggest, and the ever-charming Capri, with its picturesque squares and docks. Pompei is also located in Campania, within the metropolitan city of Naples, near Mount Vesuvio, one of the most famous active volcanoes in the world.
The Terroir of Campania
Mount Vesuvio is not only a tourist attraction but also a defining element in the region’s winemaking, together with the Tyrrhenian Sea. Some of the best wines from Campania, such as Taurasi, Aglianico del Taburno, Fiano di Avellino, and Greco di Tufo are made from grapes grown on volcanic soils and gently caressed by a steady Tyrrhenian sea breeze.
In Campania we find a soil formation – a combination of limestone with gravel and clay – called “regosuoli”, characteristic to the areas within the Provinces of Benevento and Avellino where Aglianico and Aglianico del Taburno are grown.
The Red Wines of Campania
Campania is one of the richest Italian wine regions in terms of indigenous grape varietals – both red and white. Among the reds, Aglianico is king, which is also the most widely planted varietal in the region overall with about 30% of the total. The two red wine DOCGS of Campania are both Aglianico-based wines.
Aglianico del Taburno DOCG: a medium to full-bodied blend of Aglianico del Taburno (min. 85%) and other non-aromatic red varietals (max. 15%), grown on limestone with gravel and clay soils – "regosuoli" in Italian.
Taurasi DOCG: a full-bodied, structured and complex wine, a blend of Aglianico (min. 85%) and other non-aromatic red varietals (max. 15%), aged a minimum of 3 years in total, with 12 months in wood barrels.
The White Wines of Campania
The three most famous white grape varietals native to Campania are Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, and Falanghina – the first two have their own DOCG. On the island of Ischia we can find Biancolella and Forastera, whereas more inland, near Caserta, we find some of the rarest native grape varietals, Asprino and Coda di Volpe. The Gulf of Sorrento is also home to several rare native varietals, used in local blends, with Suppezza and Olivella being the most common.