Fiano, the mysterious grape of Apulia

Fiano is considered one of the most interesting and prestigious grapes of Southern Italy and like many of the grape varieties of our region, Fiano’s origins are veiled in myster.

“Our” Fiano has been around since the 1600s, when it would completely confuse scholars and ampelographers who attempted to give it its own identity.

Of the many hypotheses that have endured, the most tenable and probable point to the grape’s Greek origins in the Peloponnese or Apia, as it was known in antiquity. Many have also claimed that the variety belongs to the apiana family of grapes (Moscato), so-called because bees (apis, in Latin) liked to eat the berries when they reached full ripeness. This theory has been disproven and in any case, no one has been able to uncover the exact origins or the reason why it is called Fiano.

In Italy, the earliest mentions of Fiano are found in Campania in the township of Lapio (Avellino) in settlements established by the Greeks who brought with them new grape varieties. Cultivation of Fiano began in Campania, which today can be considered its birthplace in Italy. And with the passage of time, it spread to nearly all the southeastern regions of Italy, particularly Basilicata and Apulia.

today, the cultivation of Fiano is concentrated especially in Campania and in particular, in the province of Avellino, where it attained DOCG status in 2003, and in Bevevento, where it is labeled as Sannio.

Beyond its heartland, Fiano is also cultivated with excellent results in Basilicata and Apulia, as well as, to a limited extent, in Molise, Abruzzo, and Piceno (Marche).

There is one curious thing about its presence in Apulia. It is believed that Fiano made its way to the Manfredonia area of Apulia at the end of the thirteenth century thanks to the King of Sicily, whose intention was to plant the famous vineyard of King Charles d’Anjou II.

Conosciuto con i sinonimi di Fiana, Foiana, Fiore mendillo, Uva latina, Latina bianca, Santa Sofia e Minutola, il Fiano si presenta con una pianta di buona vigoria, predilige terreni sciolti e di origine vulcanica. Il suo grappolo di medio-piccole dimensioni risulta poco compatto e, di conseguenza, poco predisposto all’instaurarsi di muffe. Matura intorno dopo la metà di settembre e i primi di ottobre.

Its bunches are medium-small in size and are not very compact. As a result, it can be susceptible to mold.

It ripens from mid-September to the first week of October.

The 2011 vintage of Fiano by Cantele (our eighth vintage) is now available…

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