A Never Ending Welcoming Culture in Campania


A Never Ending Welcoming Culture in Campania

07 June 2018

Stretching along the Tyrrhenian Sea and deepening into the peaks of the Apennines, the shimmering coast and rolling hills of Campania are always a welcoming sight. But more than the inviting natural beauty, the pockets of villages, cities and diverse communities that make up the region are united in a culture of welcoming people with open arms.

Growing up in an Italian-Canadian family, I was well accustomed to the Sunday lunches that lingered and the seats around the table filled with family, both dear and distant. No one was excluded, they just had to have the will to eat, because it was always too much food. So, when I went to Campania for the first time, on a four-day study trip, I thought I was well-prepared for the abundance in hospitality that was sure to be on display. While completely unsurprised by the never ending plates of food and glasses of wine, my stomach hit a wall. It refused to go along, no matter how good it all was.   By the end of the trip, I felt overwhelmed and not to mention, a little stuffed, and was looking forward to some greens in the immediate future. I was also a little annoyed by what seemed like a waste. Why ply people with such abundance, even when they can stomach it no longer? The question kept with me for a while and eventually came to a resolution when instead of being upset, I felt grateful for having had the opportunity to be so warmly welcomed. To have been accommodated beyond all expectations. Ultimately, the continuous-course meals and open bottles of wine weren’t a show of excess, but a show of cultural pride. We were literally eating Campanian culture; the centuries-old gastronomic traditions, the agricultural jewels of the land, the stories of the territory that farmers, chefs and winemakers continue writing in their work today. 

Feudi di San Gregoria and Welcoming Wines

An old vineyard of Taurasi

It is with all of this in mind that the importance Feudi di San Gregorio places on curating a welcoming and abundant experience makes sense. As one of the premier wineries in Campania, they are not just making quality wine, they are expressing regional viticulture and tradition for a discerning crowd. A long-time champion of the ancient wine varieties, such as Taurasi, Greco di Tufo and Fiano, Feudi di San Gregorio is equally putting on a show of cultural pride. This is no more apparent than in their mission; a wish to blend long-standing traditions with modern ideals and futuristic architecture so that people near and far can have a place to meet, learn and enjoy the great wines the land offers. Feudi di San Gregorio is a “workshop of culture and ideas.”

Beyond the Wine

Feudi di San Gregorio Winery

Feudi di San Gregorio has mastered this work in hospitality. The Hikaro Mori designed winery is a stunning piece of contemporary architecture set on the backdrop of ancient vineyards. The garden space and outdoor pavilion that surrounds the winery entice visitors to linger over the views of the sweeping Apennines, enjoying the fresh country air ripe with the smell of herbs and grapes. The winery also houses three private halls, of varying sizes, for formal events and corporate meetings. Each room serves as more than a place to meet, but instead as an extension of the winery’s goal, each event bearing the marks of Campania’s famed hospitality and Feudi’s modern eye.  However, Feudi di San Gregorio’s shining jewel of hospitality and deepest expression of Campanian culture is the Michelin-starred Marenna restaurant housed in the winery. Headed by Chef Paolo Barrale, Marenna puts Irpinia on the plate in refined abundance. You will walk away happily full, never once questioning why in the same way I did, because each plate is part of the story of the winery, the region and the culture.  A dish from chef Paolo Barrale

The rich history of food and wine in the region has gifted winemakers with outstanding grapes and local ingredients that can only be honoured by sharing them with abundance and opulence. One sip, glass or bottle will never be enough, each wine needs a spot at the table to take in the full picture of the land and its people. And the only true way to experience it all, a winery tour lingering over a bottle, a plate of pasta and good conversation.     

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