I have to admit, as much as I love Irpinia, it wasn't the wines that first captivated me upon arriving. It was the stunning views, the incredible people, and the food. Oh, the food.
Now of course, the wines were amazing too, hence the wine club. Their rich flavors, and signature Irpinia characteristics were the best way to bring a piece of Irpinia to your door. Now that the world is reopening, It only seemed appropriate to tell you a little more about this region steeped in history.
Everything You Need to Know About Irpinia
The History You'll find numerous historic influences of the Greeks and Romans in these mountain hills from archeological relics to names of the wines. Irpinians are a proud and independent people who legend has it are descendants of wolves. There are castles that date back thousands of years and agricultural traditions that are unmatched in other areas of Italy. This is a proud people that were living the "farm to table" life centuries before it became in vogue around the world.
The People I was told the people, like the weather, get warmer the further South you travel in Italy. This is holds 100% true for Irpinia, where the hospitality and generosity of the people is unmatched. If you were to show up in my village, a) someone would immediately come try to find me because if you are an English speaker, you’re likely lost or you know me. And b) they’re going to invite you in for coffee and a meal, language barriers be damned! Best part? You don’t even have to worry about being killed if you accept and join them in their home.
The Food Here in this little food haven of Irpinia, I go crazy for artisanal gelatos, pizza, and just about any traditional dish unique to each hilltop village in Irpinia’s over 140 communes. The fresh smells and flavors seem to jump out of your plate and into your mouth. This is in large part due to the fact that most of the vegetables, herbs and fruits were likely grown in a home garden (we would call these family farm) and just about anything else used was made within an hour drive or so. Bread is delivered to the local markets at least twice a day so you have the freshest options to accompany every meal. There's a fresh pasta maker around every corner, everyone knows someone making cheeses like their family has for generations before, and the produce is some of the freshest you'll find anywhere in the world. Is your mouth watering yet?
What Should I See Carlo Gesualdo's castle in the Prince's village of Gesualdo. Mefite, the sulphur volcano known as "The Gate to Hell" outside the medieval village of Rocca San Felice (see photos above). Check out the street art in the town of Bonito, there's hiking in Montella, lake lounging in Laceno and so much more. Honestly, you'll be left with your mouth hanging open just driving through the winding country roads that lead from village to village. Just keep your eyes open for sheep crossings!
Want to know more?
Send me a message and I'd love to chat with you about spending time in Irpinia
Want to try Irpinia wines? Contact our partners at Schneider's of Capitol Hill (202-543-9300).
Better yet: Join the wine club and have our favorite selections from Irpinia delivered to your door four times a year.