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Capri Wine

Capri is a DOC of the Campania wine region in southern Italy, covering the famous island of that name which marks the southern end of the Gulf of Naples.

Isola di Capri (Island of Capri)

The Isola di Capri (island of Capri), which has a long and distinguished history of wine production, was granted its own DOC in September 1977, 11 years after its big brother Ischia, across the gulf to the north. The DOC is not reserved for a specific wine style (as with other island DOCs such as Sicily's Malvasia delle Lipari and Moscato di Pantelleria) but covers basic rosso (red) and bianco (white) wines made from local Campanian varieties.

Capri Rosso is made predominantly from Piedirosso, a red-wine variety almost entirely restricted to Campania. It is used more freely here on Capri than anywhere else, although it is also grown widely around Mount Vesuvius for use in the iconic Lacryma Christi wines. Piedirosso must make up at least 80% of any Capri rosso wine, and is accompanied by 'altri vitigni a bacca nera, non aromatici, raccomandati e/o autorizzati per le rispettive province di Caserta e di Napoli' (other dark-skinned, non-aromatic grape varieties authorized for use in the Caserta and Napoli provinces).

Capri Bianco is made from a blend of Falanghina and Greco Bianco. It would be hard to find a more Campanian combination of white-vine varieties: Falanghina is believed to have been at the heart of the ancient Falernian wines (see Falerno del Massico), while Greco Bianco has now been identified as being genetically identical to the Asprinio used in the distinctive sparkling wines of Aversa, just outside Naples. There are now superiore, classico or riserva forms of Capri wine, and no accommodation for rose wines.

The future of Capri wine production is inextricably linked to the island's ever-increasing tourist trade. Ironically, rather than creating publicity and a reliable consumer base, tourism here has led to vineyards being uprooted in favor of accommodation and attractions, and potential winemakers are diverted to careers in hospitality. The larger island of Ischia, which marks the northern side of the Gulf of Naples, finds itself in a similar situation, although its larger land mass means it still retains some quality vineyard areas (albeit less than 250 acres, or 100ha).

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