OUR FIRST 25 YEARS IN CAMPI FLEGREI -February 20-21, 2024

CANTINE ASTRONI was born in the municipality of Naples, in the area that falls within the Campi Flegrei DOP. The winery is located on the outer slopes of the Astroni crater, once a Bourbon hunting reserve and now a natural oasis of WWF Italy. In this unique corner of land, kissed by the sea, animated by volcanic fire and embraced by myth, CANTINE ASTRONI is committed to the safeguarding and enhancement of pre-phylloxera indigenous grape varieties: Falanghina and Piedirosso, the only two typical and representative grape varieties of the territory. The Campi Flegrei, from the Greek “phlegraios”, burning land of volcanic origin, are a territory of great appeal where history, myth, poetry, archaeology and natural beauty combine. Due to the mild climate and fertility of the soil, the “burning lands” attracted populations since ancient times: Greek colonists, Etruscans, Samnites, and Romans settled here. Amphitheaters, thermal baths, pagan, and Christian temples tell stories and legends here: today you can admire the cave of the Sibyl, Lake Avernus, the Mirabile Pool, or the stone on which Bishop Gennaro was beheaded, today the Patron Saint of Naples. This year CANTINE ASTRONI celebrates its first 25 years of activity, a natural continuation of a family history that dates to 1891 when Vincenzo Varchetta decided to start a business in the world of wine. A decisive contribution was made by his son Giovanni, who, returning from World War II, managed to turn his father’s dreams into reality. “Don Giovanni”, an expert of every vineyard corner in Campania, introduced his children and grandchildren to all the passion and skills accumulated over the years. Through the history of four generations, the family founded, in 1999, the current CANTINE ASTRONI.


Monday, February 19th


Check-in at Grand Hotel Serapide – www.grandhotelserapide.it

Tuesday, February 20th

9:30                Transfer from the Hotel

10:00              Stop at the Solfatara

10:30              Guided tour of the Bosco degli Astroni – WWF Italy Natural Oasis (comfortable shoes recommended)

11:20              Arrival at Cantine Astroni

11:30               Wine tasting workshop “Campi Flegrei Falanghina: the white son of fire and sea” by Luciano Pignataro (journalist), Franco De Luca (regional educational manager AIS Campania), and Gerardo Vernazzaro (Astroni oenologist)

13:30              Light lunch in the winery by chef Marianna Vitale – Restaurant “Sud” (Michelin Star)

15:30              Wine tasting workshop Campi Flegrei Piedirosso: simplicity is a resolved complexity” by Luciano Pignataro (journalist), Franco De Luca (regional educational manager AIS Campania), and Gerardo Vernazzaro (Astroni oenologist)

17:30              Return to the Hotel

19:30              Transfer from the Hotel

20:00               Dinner at Abraxas Osteria by Nando Salemme (Slow Food Osteria)

Wednesday, February 21st

9:30                Transfer from the Hotel

10:00              Visit to Eremo dei Camaldoli (comfortable shoes recommended)

11:00              Visit to Tenuta Camaldoli and Tenuta Jossa vineyards of Cantine Astroni

13:00              Light lunch in the winery with chef Angelo Carannante – Restaurant “Caracol” (Michelin Star)


Tuesday, February 20th

The tour dedicated to the 25 years of Cantine Astroni begins from one of the symbols of the city of Pozzuoli: the renowned Solfatara Volcano, which with its still active fumaroles symbolizes the constant activity of our wonderful land. The site of frequent geological studies, but also the setting of various film productions, capable of still today offering a unique scenery in the world, will be admired by us from above.

We will continue our journey to discover this “burning” land, heading towards the Astroni crater, a protected natural area located between Pozzuoli and Naples, managed by WWF Italy. It is one of the largest craters among the approximately thirty found in the Campi Flegrei area and certainly the best preserved in its structure. It is crossed by nature trails and birdwatching observatories, equipped with explanatory panels and bulletin boards, for a total of 15 km of diversified paths. Until 2005, it was home to an important wildlife recovery center.

At the end of the naturalistic and cultural walk, we will transfer to Cantine Astroni where, after a short walk in the vineyard near the crater, we will have a wine tasting workshop dedicated to the Falanghina Campi Flegrei grape variety. The workshop titled “Campi Flegrei Falanghina: the white son of fire and sea” will be guided by Luciano Pignataro (journalist), Franco De Luca (regional educational manager AIS Campania), and Gerardo Vernazzaro (Astroni oenologist).

This first tasting session aims to deepen, through ten vintages, the characteristics and peculiarities of the Falanghina biotype Napoli as a reader of the volcanic soil of the Campi Flegrei, to capture its saline nuances in relation to the vintage, as well as to assess its aging potential to establish its hold over time.

Following this, a light lunch will be served in the winery by chef Marianna Vitale from the restaurant “Sud” (Michelin Star). Born in Naples in 1980 and raised in Porta Capuana, Marianna religiously devoted herself to the cult of food, in May 2009 she opened “Sud Ristorante” with Pino Esposito in Quarto Flegreo, in the province of Naples, becoming a reliable component of the Italian gastronomic scene. Since 2011, Marianna Vitale and Sud Ristorante have received numerous national awards and recognitions, including the Michelin Star.

After lunch, the second wine tasting workshop “Campi Flegrei Piedirosso: simplicity is a resolved complexity” will be held, once again guided by Luciano Pignataro, Franco De Luca, and Gerardo Vernazzaro.

During this second tasting session, the characteristics of the Piedirosso grape variety and wine will be explored through ten glasses of different vintages. The purpose of this workshop is to better understand the potential of this “small great wine,” its modernity, as well as the intimate connection between this ancient grape variety and the Campi Flegrei.

Then dinner at Abraxas Osteria by Nando Salemme (Slow Food Osteria). Immersed in the vineyard area of the Campi Flegrei, in the hinterland of Pozzuoli and overlooking the two mythological lakes Avernus and Fusaro, Abraxas Osteria is a place that in its long history has been able to change and evolve, always managing to maintain its principles, based on the enhancement of the territory, the use and respect of raw materials, and an tireless and indispensable care and warm welcome for the customer.

Wednesday, February 21st

On this day, we will experience a fascinating and exclusive journey to discover the area of the Camaldoli, with origins dating back over 15,000 years, during the formation of the Neapolitan Yellow Tuff. On its top stands the complex of the Eremo dei Camaldoli, founded by Giovanni d’Avalos in 1585, designed and built by Domenico Fontana in place of an already existing chapel dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ, from which it took the name of the Holy Redeemer. The Eremo dei Camaldoli is closed to the public and will be open exclusively for guests of Cantine Astroni.

A true natural oasis, the Camaldoli hill is covered by approximately 130 hectares of woods, mainly composed of chestnut trees, sometimes accompanied by oaks and ash trees. The paths along the slopes are primarily shaded until approaching the summit, which, whether through the Eremo path or through external paths, leads to one of the most beautiful panoramas of Naples. From the highest point, you can enjoy a view that spans a large part of the entire Campanian coast, including Vesuvius, the Phlegraean Islands, and numerous volcanic structures. Between historical and naturalistic value, the entire area of the Camaldoli not only encompasses a significant portion of the border of the Phlegraean area but also an immense cultural potential to be discovered.

Following this, a visit to the vineyards of Tenuta Camaldoli and Tenuta Jossa will take place.

Colle Rotondella and Tenuta Camaldoli wines are born from the grapes of the Camaldoli estate vineyard, located on the southern slope of the Camaldoli hill, entirely contained in the municipality of Naples. The vineyard consists mainly of Piedirosso grapes arranged on several terraces and covers about 3 hectares with an altitude ranging between 200 m and 290 m above sea level. The site has a sloping orography regulated by wide furrows exposed to the south on a tuffaceous matrix (Neapolitan yellow tuff 15000 – 10000 years ago) overlaid with pyroclastic layers related to the last Phlegraean eruptions between 5000 and 3500 years ago. The Piedirosso vineyard is thirty years old and is trained on a bilateral Guyot trellis system with double inverted. The rows are oriented mainly north-south with a spacing of 2 m x 1.35 m and have a density of 3500 plants/hectare.

Tenuta Jossa vineyard gives rise to the homonymous wine. The project began in 2012 with the acquisition of the estate of about 3 hectares. In this project, all the viticultural and agronomic experience and study accumulated over the last 20 years are condensed. About 50% of the property is cultivated with white grape varieties, the remaining 50% with red grape varieties. In the highest area, at about 243 meters above sea level and with the best exposure, there are 4 plains, 3 planted with Piedirosso and the smallest with Sciascinoso. The vines come from our mass selection. The orientation of the rows is south – southwest, with a planting spacing of 135 x 180, trained with double inverted. In the lowest area, starting from an altitude of 220 meters above sea level, the 6 terraces of Falanghina begin, one of which is destined for Fiano, always derived from our mass selection, declining to an altitude of 200 meters above sea level. The orientation of the rows is north-south arranged in unilateral Guyot with a planting spacing of 90 x 170. The soils of this hilly area are predominantly characterized by pedogenetic evolution due and characterized by deposits of past eruptions on underlying yellow tuff. Terraced vineyards with sandy soils rich in pumice and tuff located on the Metropolitan Park of the Hills of Naples.

Final stop with a light lunch in the cellar with chef Angelo Carannante from the “Caracol” Restaurant (Michelin Star). “Nature loves logarithmic spirals: from sunflowers to shells, from whirlpools to hurricanes to immense galactic spirals, it seems that nature has chosen this harmonious figure as its favorite ornament”: the words of Mario Livio perfectly outline the character of the Caracol restaurant in Capo Miseno. A well-managed cuisine that of the young chef Angelo Carannante, who, after the initial period of adjustment, now stands out in the panorama of the Campi Flegrei, giving real moments of well-being and taste. The sensation that many of the young chef’s dishes give is that of eating by the sea, with the saltiness caressing the skin, the gentle breeze tickling the neck, and the scent of seaweed opening the lungs.

Arrivederci da Cantine Astroni


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