Fiano di Avellino is a DOCG within the Campania region of Italy. It is named after the white Fiano grape, a variety which dates back more than 2000 years. Its name comes from vitis apiana, meaning vine beloved of bees; apparently the grapes were so sweet that bees found them irresistible. This wine was appreciated in the Middle Ages (the story goes that Charles d’Anjou, King of Naples, was so enamored with this variety that he had 16,000 Fiano vines planted in the royal vineyards), and it is still one of the key players in the success of the modern Campania wine industry.
Although Fiano is grown in other parts of Campania, its best performance is obvious in Fiano di Avellino wine. Fiano flourishes in this area, thanks to Avellino’s close proximity to the Apennine Mountains, its mild microclimate, diurnal temperature variations and mineral-rich, volcanic and calcareous soils.
This variety’s incredible sweetness makes it a superb candidate for the semi-sweet sparkling wine that is a favorite among locals (although it hasn’t reached the international, or even national, markets yet). However the still, dry white has carried the DOCG status since 2003, and its immense purity of fruit, elegance and refinement distinguishes it among its peers. The wines are characterized by lush notes of quince, orange blossom, spice and hazelnuts with an excellent underlying minerality and lively acidity. Under DOCG regulations, there must be a minimum of 85% Fiano, with the possible addition of up to 15% from a selection of Greco, Coda di Volpe Bianca and/or Trebbiano Toscano. The wines are usually best drunk between three and five years, although some will last as long as seven to ten years from the finest vineyards in outstanding vintages.