Contrada Salandra is one of the most fascinating estates in an obscure area of Campania’s Campi Flegre region. This area is tiny and is situated just north of Naples, in the municipality of Pozzuoli. This tiny area is a large super-volcano and was declared a regional park in 2003. The area of the caldera consists of 24 craters and volcanic edifices; most of them lie under water. Hydrothermal activity can be observed at Lucrino, Agnano and the town of Pozzuoli - and very small vineyard plots are planted sparingly within.
The estate was born in 2000 as an activity of organic beekeeping and production of honey, beeswax, royal jelly and propolis. Giuseppe Fortunato and his wife Sandra grew up in this area and decided to
change their professions to live in close contact with nature. By recovering a few hectares of family vineyards in Licola and Monteruscello, Giuseppe and his wife also inaugurated a small wine production based on the typical vines of the area: Falanghina and Piedirosso. The constant attention to the territory and the desire to experiment have led them to also recover varieties of grapes that have largely disappeared. These are sporadic old plantings within their vineyards, and such varietals include: Ricciulella, Cavalla, Marsigliese, Colagiovanna and Coda di Cavalla.
The production philosophy of Contrada Salandra is closely linked to the wide potential of the Campania region and is based on the constant commitment to overcome its critical issues: "you need to create positive models and create a system to change things" Giuseppe likes to repeat. The key word for understanding the work in the vineyard and in the cellar is biodiversity: the activity of bees animates the vineyards, converted to an uncertified organic regime. No grapes are purchased from other winemakers and no selected yeasts are used. Fermentations are longer than most, sometimes up to 16 months longer than their peers. The Falanghina and the Piedirosso produced express naturally and without artifice the soul of an ancient and volcanic terroir.
The wines of Contrada Salandra bear witness to the possibility of reaching high levels without compromise and remaining true to one's dreams.
Contrada Salandra Falanghina
Appellation: DOP Campi Flegrei
Vineyad: From two parcels between 90 and 200m above sea level, totaling 2.2 hectares. Both sites face southeast. Vines are ungrafted and Guyot trained.
Vinification: Manually harvested. The grapes are destemmed and allowed to macerate on the skins for 24 hours, after which they are softly pressed and fermented in stainless steel. Malolactic is only partially completed. The wine remains in tank for 10 months, 6 of which are on the lees. The wine is lightly filtered and sulfured (about 10mg/l total added) and bottle aged at least 10 months before released.
Tasting Notes: Ripe pear, menthol, crystallized lemon peel and a whiff of white flowers on the nose. Then saline and vibrant, offering smooth flavors of pomaceous orchard fruit and herbs. Finishes with harmonious acidity and a saline, stony minerality.
Contrada Salandra Piedirosso
Appellation: DOP Campi Flegrei
Grapes: 95% Piedirosso, 5% ancient varietals
Vineyad: From 2.5 hectares of ungrafted vines at 90-200m above sea level. Pergola trained.
Vinification: Manually harvested. The grapes are destemmed and fermented in stainless steel. Maceration lasted for 45 days. Aging is for 20 months in stainless. There is no fining or filering, and total SO2 added is around 10mg/L. The wine ages in bottle for an additional 6 months before release.
Tasting Notes: Perfumed aromas of red cherry, raspberry, potpourri and earth. Then fresh, juicy and vibrant, featuring youthfully chewy tannins and lip-smacking acidity that lift and extend the red fruit and floral flavors on the long back end. This medium-bodied wine packs a tremendous amount of flavor and boasts delightful precision