I was with Sebastian Payne MW, Society buyer for Italy, on a whistle-stop tour of the southern wine regions of the country. The purpose of the trip was mainly to see existing suppliers from Campania, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria, but also to prospect for new wines. We arrived in Naples on a Tuesday evening and were greeted by nothing short of a deluge. Luckily the boys from La Guardiense co-op came to rescue us.
We arrived in Naples on a Tuesday evening and were greeted by nothing short of a deluge. When it rains in southern Italy, it really rains.
First stop: La Guardiense Co-op in Benevento, Campania
We were met at the airport and immediately sped over to Benevento, an hour’s drive inland, to see La Guardiense, producer of The Society’s Falanghina, as well as other brilliant-value wines such as the Sannio Greco, Janare.
La Guardiense is a forward-thinking, innovative co-operative, not something one comes across very often in this part of the world. With the guidance and drive of charismatic winemaker Marco Giulioli, protégé of wine guru Riccardo Cotarella, La Guardiense is making world-class wines.
La Guardiense, producers of our Society’s Falanghina and one of Italy’s best co-ops, thanks in no small way to oenologist Marco Giulioli
The whites are particularly impressive, and we tasted tank samples of the 2016 fiano, falanghina and greco. All the wines showed good varietal expression and attractive balance. We then tasted the 2015 whites, now all in bottle and starting to show their class. The 2015 vintage was the best for whites for many years, and both The Society’s Falanghina and the Sannio Greco Janare were impressive.