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Aversa Asprinio Wine

Aversa Asprinio is a DOC of southern Italy's Campania wine region. Introduced in July 1993, the title exclusively covers white wines made from the Asprinio grape variety (better known as Greco Bianco). Wines made under the DOC may be labeled Aversa or Aversa Asprinio, although in practice most producers find it commercially prudent to include the grape variety, as this is a key part of the wine's attraction. The name Asprinio di Aversa is also seen on some older labels.

The coat of arms of Aversa

The 22 communes whose vineyards produce Aversa Asprinio wines are located mostly within Campania's northern Caserta province, arcing around the north-western side of Naples. Three of the 22 lie slightly south of the rest, bringing the catchment area into the Napoli province and closer to Naples city itself. These are Giugliano, Qualiano and Sant'Antimo (not to be confused with Sant'Antimo in Tuscany), all now subsumed by the urban sprawl of Italy's third-largest city. The catchment area stops short of the famous Neapolitan volcanoes – the closest of which are Solfatara and the Phlegraean Fields (see Campi Flegrei) meaning the topography is very flat, rarely rising more than 200ft (60m) above sea level.

Asprinio is a white grape variety whose distribution is limited almost exclusively to Napoli and the surrounding provinces – of course, unless one acknowledges that it is actually the same variety as Greco Bianco, as DNA profiling has suggested. If this is the case, then the variety is grown all over southern Italy, from Campania and Molise right down to Puglia, Sicily and Calabria, where it reaches its zenith in sweet Greco di Bianco wines. In its Asprinio form, however, the grapes are used to make mostly sparkling wines in the Naples area.

Aversa Asprinio comes in two forms: still and sparkling. The latter is by far the most common and must, under DOC regulations, be made from 100% Asprinio grapes. The former is harder to find but only has to consist of 85% Asprinio, the remaining 15% being open to 'altri vitigni a bacca bianca, non aromatici, raccomandati e/o autorizzati per le rispettive province di Caserta e di Napoli' (other light-skinned, non-aromatic grape varieties authorized for use in the Caserta and Napoli provinces).

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