Skip to main content

Current topics, themes, musings and travel notes

November 28, 2022

Nobility, Crime and a Great Little Pizza Wine

On Campania’s endangered monster vines

I love Campania for lots of things including its often-hidden beauties.

In this, Caserta province runs a close second to its neighboring Naples. Behind all Caserta’s historical monuments and crime scandals are some of Italy’s best buffalo mozzarella,  pizza and southern signature wines.

In the dense, damp lowlands straddling the Naples/Caserta border, for instance, is an historic but almost forgotten delicious, light sparkling wine, Asprinio – cultivated on monster vines that climb up to 40-feet tall attached to poplar trees.

Luca Paparelli harvesting Asprinio
Winemaker Luca Paparelli harvesting Asprinio

The French writer Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo) called it the perfect pizza wine two centuries ago. Now, burdened by the expenses of cultivation and the low prices it fetches on the market, Asprinio is endangered.

Which is really too bad for a wine of such elegance, cheer, and (low-alcohol) lift. Thankfully, Asprinio does still exist and can be found – though it’s more difficult outside Naples.

Please listen up! There is a big opportunity here I think for some enlightened importers.

Find out more in my latest  Robert Camuto Meets….column (free) at