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WSET Diploma: Unit 3: Italy > Basilicata > Flashcards

Flashcards in Basilicata Deck (11):


Mountainous area with severe economic problems, viticultural industry very small.


Aglianico del Vulture DOC

Aglianico grape, number of styles, young and fruity, through to full bodied and aged for a minimum of 3 years.



Mountainous, virtually land-locked area of southern Italy, is the country’s third least populated region, with approximately 600,000 inhabitants. Its name has become synonymous with the extreme poverty in, and abandonment of, much of Italy’s deep south. Little commercial or industrial activity exists, and the countryside has been drained by emigration since the end of the Second World War, while its unspoilt natural beauty still awaits any significant tourism boost to the regional economy. Little exists in the way of viticulture either; the region’s total vineyard surface is 10,028 ha/24,769 acres, of which a third is classified as doc. The Basilicata has only four DOC wines and one docg. aglianico del vulture is qualitatively the most important with its vineyards situated on the slopes of an extinct volcano 56 km/35 miles to the north of Potenza. Confusingly, only the Superiore version of Aglianico del Vulture has been elevated to DOCG status. Basilicata’s other DOCs include Grottino di Roccanova (a 100% Malvasia Bianca di Basilicata, with a rather less exciting provision for a Sangiovese-based red), and Matera, a hastily and rather generously designated DOC based on Malvasia and the potentially interesting Greco Bianco for whites and Primitivo and Sangiovese for reds, while Matera Moro must contain at least 60% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Terre dell’Alta Val d’Agri DOC seems to have been designated to accommodate mainly international varieties, for which demand is waning.


Aglianico del Vulture

Potentially superior wine, one of only a handful in basilicata, based on the tannic and ageworthy aglianico grape planted on the slopes of Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano, between 200 and 700 m elevation. The doc zone consists of close to 400 ha/1,000 acres, all on soils of volcanic origin in the north west of the zone and benefiting from cool nights at an elevation of 450 to 600 m (1,970 ft). The area was given its own DOC as early as 1971, while the Superiore and Riserva versions of the wines were elevated to docg in 2010. Minimum vine density for both DOC and DOCG is a low 3,350 plants/ha, while the high permitted yields of 10 tons/ha for the DOC is lowered to 8 tonnes/ha for the DOCG. Quality-focused producers, however, demand much lower yields from their vines to produce the sturdy, classic red wine with a real propensity for extended cellaring. Legal ageing requirements differ too: the DOC version may not be released on to the market prior to the September following the year of harvest, while the DOCG requires 24 months of ageing, of which 12 must be in oak. Styles can differ wildly, with an emphasis on winemaking (French barriques still feature heavily) rather than on the vineyard. However, the best wines tend to be aged in large oak casks, as many a fine older vintage of D’Angelo demonstrates. Single vineyard or vineyard districts, some 70 in total, may feature on labels, but the zone would benefit from more refined geographical delimitation, specifically a much smaller classico zone to distinguish the hillsides from the many vineyards on the plain.


Basilicata: General

Region between Campania and Puglia with strong economic difficulties and small viticultural industry.


Basilicata: Climate

Continental in the mountains and Mediterranean along the coasts.


Basilicata: Topography

Most mountainous region in Italy with nearly half mountains and the other half hills.


Basilicata: Aglianico

Thick-skinned grape, hi in acidity, early budding but late ripening that thrives at higher altitudes (400-600m hi)

Produces deep coloured, full bodied, tannic wines w aromas of maraschino cherry & violets and chocolate, dark plums flavours


Basilicata: White Grapes

Malvasia: Used for dry, sweet and sparkling local wines

Moscato: Used for sweet and fizzy wines


Basilicata: Aglianico del Vulture DOCG (R)

Area north of Potenza, by Mte Vulture; DOCG since 2011; vineyards at 450-600m hi

Various styles from young and fruity to full bodied. Aged for min 3 yrs. Recent trend towards French oak


Basilicata: Production and Key Producer

6,000ha for 0.2m hl/yr – 3rd smallest wine region in Italy. 10% DOC wines.

Paternoster and D’Angelo