Fiano wine grape

A white grape from Campania (the lower shin of Italy’s boot), Fiano was first recorded under its own name in the 13th Century, and may even be the variety used to make the famous ancient Roman wine, Apianum.  It was once common across southern Italy but fell out of favour due to its low yields.  When the phylloxera epidemic forced all Italian vineyards to be replanted on American rootstocks around the beginning of the 20th Century, most producers seized the opportunity to replace it with more productive though less characterful varieties.
By the 1950s it was nearly extinct, but since then it has staged a remarkable comeback instigated by the great Campanian producer Mastroberardino.  It is still found mainly in its native Campania, where Fiano di Avellino is one of the few Italian white wines to carry DOCG status, but it has also been enthusiastically planted in Sicily by producers like Settesoli and Planeta, whose famous Cometa is made from it.  Even more recently it has become fashionable in Australia, though there is still less than 200 hectares planted there.
Fiano’s small, thick-skinned berries ripen late, but achieve high sugar levels.  Its wine is full-bodied and powerfully flavoured, with herbal and floral scents, and a honeyed quality.  It can age very well, developing notes of spices and nuts.

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