When we talk about terroir, the soil, climate, and geography are usually the first things that come to mind. Wine lovers have embraced the idea that a wine, when produced in such a way as to respect and reflect its surroundings, has the ability to transmit flavors and aromas so specific to a place that we are at at first sip, transported.
Historic Roots Family Winery
This beloved concept of multi-sensory wine travel, has an other element to it as well, history. While we’re more apt to speak of granite soils and a palpable sea breeze on the nose, the idea of certain, specific flavors existing over centuries adds an element of time travel to the transportive experience of terroir. The wines from Cantine Di Marzo, especially Greco di Tufo, are a perfect example. One of the oldest wineries in Italy, and the oldest certified winery in Campania, to drink their wines is to not only experience a striking and distinctive volcanic terroir, but also a nearly five centuries of the same wine.
Greco di Tufo
The Di Marzo family first fled to the Tufo area in 1647 when a plague ravaged their home in San Paolo Belsito, Campania, in southern Italy. As the story goes, they brought with them cuttings from the Greco del Vesuvio grape variety, the clone that would later be classified as the official variety for the Greco di Tufo DOCG.
Watch a video about Cantine di Marzo Greco di Tufo.
Once arrived, they built their winery right into the existing fortified walls of the Medieval city, where it still stands today, albeit polished up to meet the modern standards for contemporary winemaking.
Sunny Slopes and Sulfur-Rich Soil
The vines thrived in their new home atop the sun-bathed slopes of Tufo and the surrounding area, and the family grew to prominence with ever-growing property acquisition. A few centuries later, in 1866, as the legend goes, Francesco di Marzo was out surveying the grounds on horseback when he noticed some shepherds burning rocks for warmth. Upon closer inspection, the rocks proved to be pure brimstone (sulphur) from vast deposits just below the soil.
Sitting on a Goldmine
The discovery of the sulphur deposits proved to something of a figurative goldmine for the Di Marzo family as well as the entire area. A thriving mining business boosted the local economy, offering close to 800 jobs at one point. The availability and distribution of the precious mineral also led to an explosion of viticulture and wine production in the region.
Greco di Tufo DOCG and Not Only
In addition to their flagship wine, Greco di Tufo DOCG, Cantine di marzo produces still wines made from local varieties Aglianico as well as Fiano, as well as classic method sparkling wines and grappa.
Shop online in Italy.
Winery Tours and Wine Tasting
With the exception of the harvest season, Cantine di Marzo regularly hosts visitors on a tour not only of the winery, but the Medieval town of Tufo, and the original sulphur mines that play such an important role in the story and success of the winery. The visit lasts 90 minutes approximately, costs €15, and includes a tasting of three wines accompanied by local cheese and charcuterie.