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Asprinio - Obscurity Italian Style  Add/Read Comments



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Ever heard of Asprinio? Nope me neither. It's an Italian white grape variety genetically linked to Greco; but obscure is its middle name. Even my fail-safe Italian wine reference, the Gambero Rosso Italian Wine Guide, has just one small mention of the variety.

New York Times
"It’s called Asprinio di Aversa. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s not surprising; many people — even here in Italy — haven’t. This might well qualify as one of the world’s smallest and most obscure appellations. Asprinio grapes are grown only around the town of Aversa in Caserta province and in two villages in the adjacent Naples province. Asprinio vines cover fewer than 250 acres. Some say the vineyards were planted by the Borboni (a branch of the Bourbon dynasty, which ruled here from about 1734 to 1860) to thwart attackers. But asprinio was here long before they were."
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Hi Andy

You will probably not be surprised to know that I have come across Asprinio!

I tried it and had a chat with a producer at the London Wine Fair in it's Olympia days. He showed me some amazing photos of the harvest, with the pickers up ladders about 10m high because the vines were trained up trees. I don't know if this is still the case but it may be worth a bit of detective work to find out if this archaic practice is still used.

As for the wine, it was pale, quite light and with a really high, refreshing acidity - I remember thinking of a passing resemblance to soluble Aspirin - auto suggestion? It would be great served REALLY cold with plain grilled sole or similar.

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