Southern Italy is for (Wine) Lovers

Conde Naste Traveler explores the region, its hotels and, of course, the wine.

This article, written by , appears on Conde Naste Traveler.

From the rolling hillsides in Benevento to the steeply terraced vineyards of the Amalfi Coast, the ancient region of Campania offers homegrown wines that are as varied as the landscapes. Here, Momofuku’s beverage director, Jordan Salcito—who produces her own private label in Campania—explains why southern Italy should be on every wine lover’s map.

You know Naples, if not for its history of opera, then for its thin-crust pizzas. You know Capri and possibly its sister islands, Procida and Ischia, the latter of which provided the cerulean backdrop to The Talented Mr. Ripley. And then there’s the Amalfi Coast, which is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. (It knows it is, too.)

What you might have missed is that these places all belong to a larger region called Campania, and when the gulfs are looked at together along with the mountainous Benevento and the plains of Avellino and Caserta, they make up one of the most compelling landscapes in Italy.

“It’s dramatic,” says Jordan Salcito, wine director of Momofuku in New York City, who last week released a new Campanian wine under her label, Bellus.

“You have the drama of the coast–the cliffs are dangerous, and the ocean is relaxing, and I love that duality—and then, as you get farther up into the mountains, there’s this rusticity that’s unique to the region.”

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD really did shape Campania. “It’s so humbling and such a good reminder that nature is something to be respected and to tread carefully around.”

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