Azienda Agricola Fiorentino is one of the first wineries I ever visited in Irpinia over two years ago. I quickly became friends with the whole family thanks to Giovanni Fiorentino who takes the lead on winemaking at Azienda Agricola Fiorentino. He and his family realized a decades-long dream when they decided to officially open the winery in 2012 in order to continue the long history of winemaking traditions that have been passed down in the family.
You can see the winery from Gesualdo, my home base, perched at the top of a hill across the valley in the small village of Paternopoli. The area is one of the prime Taurasi growing regions of Irpinia. The Fiorentino Family built a new structure at the back of the family’s house where their 80+ year old mother, Margherita, still lives so that the cantina where his mother would make wine now shares a wall with the new structure. Something Giovanni will proudly share with you when you come to the winery for a visit. It’s a beautiful tie between past and present.
Here's more about Azienda Agricola Fiorentino...
Awards and acclaim: Routinely recognized for their incredible dedication to their wines, most recently Wine Enthusiast awarded 92 points to the Fiorentino 2014 Taurasi. These recognitions are terrific, but what’s probably more important, is that Irpinia locals also can’t get enough of these wines. That tells you everything you need to know about the quality and commitment to traditional winemaking taking place at Azienda Agricola Fiorentino.
What is the winery history? The land for the winery and the vineyards was purchased with money made possible by their grandfather, Luigi, moving to Chelsea, MA in the early 1900s for work, who was then followed by their father. In return, the family dedicated their first bottle of wine to the sacrifice that had been made for the family naming it Celsì, spelled phonetically in Italian for this city back in the Boston area.
Winemaking philosophy: Giovanni Fiorentino has focused on creating a winery that is environmentally friendly while maintaining the traditions of the generations of winemakers before, never using chemicals and never adding or taking away anything from the wines that are made in their cantina. The harvests are all done by hand with the utmost care put into grape selection. Giovanni currently makes incredible Taurasi, Irpinia Aglianico (Celsì), Rosato, and Coda di Volpe wines that we can’t get enough of, and neither can the critics.
Aglianico Wines: The Aglianico grape is a notoriously “difficult” grape high in tannins and acidity. This can result in a harsh wine if not attended to with lots of attention and love. Thankfully, Giovanni expertly transforms the Aglianico grape into elegant, wonderfully complex wines while maintaining the character of the Aglianico grape. He does this by continuing family traditions and listening to what the grapes tell him on a yearly basis. He’s told us you have to treat the grapes like children, transforming them into better people/better wine through love. What a beautiful sentiment!! No two years will taste the same, but you can be sure they’ll all be fantastic.
Coda di Volpe: Another wine steeped in family traditions, Giovanni recently replanted the Coda di Volpe grapes to make the wine his mother made years before. In fact, Giovanni had to turn to eBay to find one of the bottles from his mother’s vintages. It’s now proudly displayed in the winery. The first of the new Coda di Volpe wines were bottled in 2019 and you’ll find the same elegance and complexity in the Coda di Volpe that is a trademark of their red wines. This is an incredible wine to drink with a pecorino cheese and some salumi in the afternoon sun, and we also love it with a plate of porcini and truffle pasta..
Taurasi 2014 Tasting Notes and How to Try!
Here's more on the Taurasi from Azienda Agricola Fiorentino that just won 92 points from Wine Enthusiast: This is a wine with a great personality. It’s well balanced and notable for its softness and the elegance of its tannins. You’ll note hints of blueberry, cinnamon, as well as black cherry, red oranges and herbs. The wine is made from vines that are 15-20 years old and it has been age about one-and-a half years in large 25-Hl oak barrels. Total aging time is 4 years before coming to market. This wine should be served at room temperature with roasted or grilled meats. We’d also recommend opening an hour before serving.