Galardi is a 25-acre estate in the Campania region of southern Italy. Founded by a quartet of cousins in 1991, it has already achieved cult status for its highly individualistic and complex wine, which is a blend of 80% Aglianico and 20% Piedirosso. The wine’s distinctive character comes partly from the volcanic soil of its hilltop vineyards. Called Terra di Lavoro, or “land of work,” the wine routinely wins the highest rating of 3 glasses from Gambero Rosso, Italy’s leading wine journal. Robert M. Parker Jr. has called past vintages “absolutely amazing” and “profoundly complex.” About 25,000 bottles are produced annually.
Campania is on the southeastern coast of Italy, and the city of Naples is its commercial and cultural capital. Wine has always been produced in this hard-scrabble region, though the quality of those wines has traditionally not matched the wine quality elsewhere in Italy. Rich volcanic soils mean that the region easily grows everything from citrus and artichokes to nuts, and growing wine grapes has not been a priority historically. However in the last couple of decades forward-thinking producers and vineyard owners have focused on improving both their wines and Campania’s winemaking reputation, and the results are noteworthy. Campania was awarded its first DOCG appellation in 1991. It is the Taurasi DOCG, which grows primarily Aglianico, a native grape that can produce big, concentrated, complex red wines with layers of earthy flavors. There are 101,000 acres of vineyards in Campania, making it Italy’s ninth largest wine producing region, though only 2.8% of those vineyards are in DOC appellations. Nevertheless several excellent large producers and numerous boutique producers are now crafting well-reviewed red and white wines, all mostly from indigenous grapes. Besides Aglianico, the other most frequently planted red wine grapes are Coda de Volpe and Pedirosso. White grapes planted are Falanghina, Fiano and Greco. There are 18 DOCs in Campania.