Irpinia has been known for its wines for two thousand years. The “wine of the emperors” was brought from here to Rome to please the Caesars. The emperors would have certainly liked the Metodo Classico made with Greco grapes!
Feudi di San Gregorio has relaunched Campania wine, of which Cicero, Pliny the Elder and Martial have written praises. The cellar, a jewel of functionality and aesthetic rigour built on an area hit by an earthquake, is a symbol of the rebirth of this territory.
A vast genetic database of wine
The estate, opened in 1986, has entrusted its restoration in 2004 to Japanese architect Hikaru Mori. After thirty years dedicated to promoting that vast genetic database of wine which is Irpinia, and adding historical lots with particular varieties to the vineyards, the time to take a new step forward has come.
Together with the cellar’s restyling, in 2004 new horizons for traditional Campania grapes (the Greco; the Aglianico; the Falanghina) have been explored, with the introduction of the technique of sparkling wine production in bottle. It is the so-called “Metodo Classico” – or “Champenoise” – the very same used in France for the production of Champagne.
Bunches that grow from the eruption of the Vesuvius
Feudi di San Gregorio rest on a volcanic hinterland: we are 40 km from the Vesuvius. From its 723 small vineyards, the best grapes are selected to produce the “DUBL”, its new sparkling wine.
The terroir speaks with its vines, but in the sparkling wine production man can make a great difference by adding his personality. Feudi di San Gregorio has made use of a consultant from the world of Champagne: Anselme Selosse, acclaimed for his wines and attention to the specificity of the vines.
The name “DUBL” recalls two things: the meeting between the great richness of the varieties in Campania and the extraordinary Metodo Classico tradition, which consists in the fermentation of wine in the bottle – using sugar and yeast – and its transformation into sparkling wine.
A journey into the Metodo Classico
This process, which is shown to the guest at the cellar, is particular: after undergoing a first stage of fermentation, the wine is bottled with the addition of sugar and yeast. On the second stage of fermentation – activated by the yeast – carbon dioxide is produced, giving the Metodo Classico its natural bubbles. The aging process enables the creation of typical and delicate aromas.
Then comes the stage of riddling: the bottles placed on pupitres are shaken and turned to let the yeast on the cap settle. At this point, it is ready for “disgorging”: the bottle neck is frozen, it is uncorked and the pressure that has built pushes out the plug of ice containing the lees.
Lastly, a liqueur d’expedition – a secret of every cellar Master – is added and it is followed by a period of refinement and rest that can last for many months. The bottles are now ready to be drunk: after the tale finally comes the moment to taste Southern Italy’s Metodo Classico.
Each grape has its sparkling wine
Production has been enriched with the “DUBL+” (pure Greco grapes, without mixing with other varieties), particularly good with raw fish, crustaceans and risotto; “DUBL rosé” (Aglianico grapes), which goes well with fish dishes, pizza, fresh cheese; “DUBL brut” (Falanghina grapes), perfect for aperitifs.
In April 2016, “DUBL ESSE” has been presented, a Zéro Dosage (without the addition of any liqueur d’expedition before capping), and a limited edition bottle. Here, “ESSE” means “Selezione” (“Selection”), because it is made only with the best Greco grapes and it requires a period of resting on the less of at least three years.
The packaging of the aforementioned bottle is an extraordinary expression of contemporary design, entrusted to the creative genius of Fabio Novembre. A study of minimalist aesthetics deeply bounded to its Italian origin: the bands recall the crown of St. Gregory the Great, the pope after whom the winery is named.
Tasting experience at the cellar
Hospitality at Feudi di San Gregorio is an essential value, ever since its foundation.
The cellar is more than a home for wine: it is the place where the knowledge about wine is proudly passed on to the visitor. There are a lot of ways to visit it and be guided during tastings.
At Feudi di San Gregorio there are precious wines, a cellar with five thousand barrels and barriques, a glass tasting room hanging above the barrels, the famous restaurant Marennà, newly renovated and aiming for two Michelin stars, and a space for cultural events.
Feudi di San Gregorio has also opened two DUBL bars at different airports, one at Capodichino in Naples and another at Luton in London.
But here, at the cellar, is where the wine that the Roman emperors used to serve at their banquets must be tasted.