Nestled off the coast of Naples, Ischia is not just an island of pristine beaches and thermal springs, but also a significant contributor to Italy's wine tradition through its Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) designation. The environment of Ischia is an amalgamation of volcanic soils, temperate maritime climate, and an abundance of Mediterranean sunshine, creating an idyllic tapestry for viticulture.
Among the red grape varieties, Cannonau stands out with its robust character and rich, fruity notes, often likened to the warmth of the Mediterranean sun in a bottle. Piedirosso, another key red variety, is deeply rooted in the island’s traditions, producing wines with a wonderful balance of fruitiness and earthy undertones, a testament to Ischia’s volcanic terrain.
On the white side, Biancolella is arguably the island's signature grape. With its crisp acidity and aromatic profile, wines made from Biancolella often resonate with the sea breeze and the island's floral richness. Forastera, though less known, is no less significant. It offers a unique, mineral-driven character, echoing the island’s geological history and making it an intriguing counterpart to Biancolella.
Together, these grape varieties encapsulate the essence of Ischia, a place where the environment is inextricably linked to the wines it produces, offering a sip of the island’s history, geology, and sun-kissed splendor.
The DOC Ischia is located on the island of the same name, and is part of the Campania wine region. It is the largest of the Phlegrean Islands.
In this region, the climate is Mediterranean, and the sea breezes help prevent diseases for the vineyards.
On the other hand, the soils are fertile, well-drained and composed mainly of green volcanic tuff.
Most Planted Red Grape Varieties: Cannonau, Piedirosso
Most Planted White Grape Varieties: Biancolella, Forastera
In the sun-kissed embrace of Ischia DOC, a quartet of wines beckons with flavors that encapsulate the island's essence.
The Bianco wine, a symphony of balance, melds Forastera's grace with Biancolella's finesse. With a potential blend of other authorized white grapes, it embodies the island's coastal beauty and Mediterranean charm.
Rosso, a tapestry of Ischia's terroir, unites Cannonau and Piedirosso in harmony. Locally known as Guarnaccia and Pèr e Palummo, they weave a rich narrative, while other authorized red grapes add complexity to the island's vibrant story.
For those who seek effervescence, Spumante marries Forastera and Biancolella, enchanting with its lively bubbles and the subtleties of other authorized white grapes. It's a celebration captured in every sparkling sip.
The Passito, a treasure of Ischia, spotlights Piedirosso, joined by other authorized red grapes. This nectar, born from sun-soaked vineyards and skilled hands, offers a sweet embrace that captures the island's warmth.
Each bottle of Ischia DOC wine is an invitation to explore the island's soul—a journey through its landscapes, traditions, and the dedication of its winemakers. Whether it's the finesse of Bianco, the tale of Rosso, the joy of Spumante, or the indulgence of Passito, each wine is a testament to Ischia's enduring beauty and the artistry that thrives within.