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Molise Native Vines – First Part
Rosa D'Ancona – December 15, 2005



Introduction

 
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Vine cultivation in the Molise region was already practiced by the ancient Samnites, who produced wine and other fermented drinks, having learned the trade from the Greeks and the Etruscans. It was only in Roman times, however, that vine growing expanded into larger vineyards.

Though vine growing has had its ups and downs in the history of this region, the particularly favorable climate has contributed to establishing an interesting wine culture. The mid 1900s represent an important period for the Molise wine industry, as it was at that time that vitiviniculture was widely abandoned inland and expanded in the areas closer to the coastline.

To this days, the Molise wine industry still have critical aspects, such as the low percentage of DOC and IGT wine production and the use of outdated cultivation techniques, which are based mostly on antiquated regional production choices. That said though, we must point out that current trends indicates a shift toward the re-qualification of the whole vine and winemaking sector, starting with the choice of vine clones and growing techniques. In fact, a series of regional initiatives aimed at improving the quality of the fruit, is currently taking place, from updating the production process, to offering local vintners technical and marketing tools. In addition, pressed ever more by the need to mesure up to the quality level of other Italian wine making regions, the Molise administration is preparing to support local producers with seminars that teaches them the latest growing and wine making techniques.

The Molise vineyards currently amount to 7,650 hectares (slightly over 18,900 acres), with most production in the province of Campobasso. Among the red vines, he most cultivated are Montepulciano and Sangiovese, and in lesser quantity Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Aglianico. The white vines include Trebbiano, Falanghina, Fiano, Bombino Bianco, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Greco and Moscato Bianco.

  Molise

The yearly wine production is about 350,000 hectoliters (about 9,246,021 gallons). The DOC wines account for just 5% of the total, and the IGT's are produced in small amounts as well. Currently three DOC wines are produced in Molise – Biferno, Molise, or Del Molise and Pentro d'Isernia, or Pentro – and two IGT's – Osco, or Terre degli Osci, and Rotae.

The Molise, or Del Molise DOC is a 'territorial denomination', and includes the whole region, considering that the area is fairly small and the soil characteristics are similar across the only two regional provinces. Important news for this DOC is the recent addition of the Tintilia wine, made with grapes from the native vines of the same name. This is an interesting vine, worthy of further development.

The establishing of the Consorzio per la Valorizzazione dei Vini DOC del Molise (Consortium for the Evaluation of the Molise DOC Wines) in the year 2000, is part of the current improvement of the regional wine sector. The organization includes 93 members, 14 of whom are founding partners involved in vine growing, wine production, and bottling of DOC wines. The goals of the Consortium are the following:

  • Organization and coordination of production and marketing of the DOCs in order to protect and promote such wines;
  • Control and verification that the production rules are being respected by the producers, in addition to protection against imitation of the denomination, unfair competition, etc., defending the interests of the members in all legal issues;
  • Identification and application of promotional measures which improve both the technical and marketing aspects of the production, either directly or indirectly.

Among the various initiatives promoted by the Consortium, an important one has been the constitution of the Strada del Vino del Molise (Molise Wine Roads) project, aimed at organizing integrated rural tourist packages that involve the whole region. The central core of such packages is represented by the local wines, followed by the regional specialty foods, the environment, the culture and history, as well as the generosity and kindness of the people living and working in this countryside.

DOC and DOCG wines made with the main native vines

NATIVE GRAPES DOC WINES
DOCG WINES
Montepulciano
  • Biferno
  • Molise o Del Molise
  • Pentro d'Isernia
 
Tintilia
  • Molise o Del Molise
Falanghina
  • Molise o Del Molise
Moscato Bianco
  • Molise o Del Molise

Molise IGT Wines

IGT WINES

ITALIAN NATIVE GRAPES

Osco o Terre degli Osci

  • Montepuciano
  • Moscato Bianco
  • Falanghina
  • Greco
  • Garganega
  • Ciliegiolo
  • Aglianico
  • Bombino Bianco
  • Bovale Grande

Rotae

  • Montepuciano
  • Moscato Bianco
  • Falanghina
  • Greco
  • Garganega
  • Ciliegiolo
  • Aglianico
  • Bombino Bianco
  • Bovale Grande


 
 
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