Away from the technicalities of the experts, especially regarding the wines. So we of Città Meridiane approach us to this world, telling the ones we like and exalt us even more if they tied to stories of manufacturers, situations, emotions. Such as those prompted by Luigi and Raffaella, couple in life and work in the family company of Luigi Maffini in Cenito locations in the municipality of Castellabate in Cilento. We pass by them on a hot afternoon in mid- September, after a boat ride off the islet of Punta Licosa. They are all very busy with the harvest of Fiano with warm old gold clusters glistening in the sun of september and which will become the base of Pietraincatenata, Fiano Cilento PDO aged in oak barrels for about eight months, and Kratos, PGI Paestum Fiano.
Despite the full-term and intensive work Raffaella welcomed us with a big smile and begins to talk about the history of the winery until the 90 was led by the father of her husband Luigi, from Emilia with Lombard father, who moved in Cilento just after the Second War World. Here in 1971 he planted the first vineyard whose production was addressing those who were buying wine in bulk and in fact for twenty years wine has never been bottled. The breakthrough came when a hectare and a half of Peter’s grandfather was replanted in ’94: a sort of bet carried out by Luigi and Raffaella, both agronomists and together from the banks of the University, with prof. Moio, the highest authority regarding the studies on regional and international wines. Convinced, with Maffini spouses, that Campania has historically played a major role in the evolution of viticulture and world enology, thanks to the Greeks who introduced wine in the region. And big supporter of the traditions quality, which can never be separated from care and respect. This brilliant combination led in 1996 to the birth of Kratos, that in greek language means strength, power, a wine made from Fiano in purity through a vinification with soft pressing of grapes and fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. A Fiano that, since he was born, does not that also reap successes in competitions with his older brother and, for now, most known, the DOCG of Avellino. It’s at this point that we begin to speak of suitable land: Raffaella explains that another successful challenge was precisely to change the belief that certain areas of the Cilento were not ideal for growing grapes. They did so by transferring much of the production in eight hectares of land on the hills between Trentinara and Giungano. Demonstrating that the branches of the vines go well beyond the so-called arable land borders and there is a spot where the this nectar of the gods did not decide to run, even if the vine is forced to defy the force of gravity. And the eyes light up when she tells us of the first implant works on bold terraces, where grapevines, which seem to be suspended between the turquoise sea and the blue sky, they have taken root with stubborn strength.
We prepare to taste the wines on which we chatted but stops us Luigi who, at first a bit ‘on his – perhaps he thinks that we are the usual nosy reporters – then more and more talkative and smiling, thanks to Raffaella jokes, he guides us in the cellar for tasting directly from the tanks. So in the office we have been able to appreciate the well-integrated tannins and a lingering aroma of spices of soft Cenito, DOP Cilento Aglianico, and Kleos, Aglianico Paestum PGI, both aged in oak barrels. In the cellar instead we have feel in the mouth the future of the wine in the bubbly and fragrant juice just obtained from pressed grapes of Fiano, in which it is already being felt all the hints of exotic fruit and honey. And while Luigi tells us that what puts a strain on the patience of the tenants has come up as a grape a great wine and why it takes so much work in the vineyard, we become witnesses and tasters of the next novelty Maffini home: the sparkling wine classic method, their next bet.
The labels available today are six : besides the mentioned Cenito, Pietraincatenata, Kleos and Kratos, the rosy Denazzano, Aglianico Paestum PGI , and Passito, Fiano Paestum PGI, produced with carefully selected grapes from the vineyard Kratos dried for about 30 days, pressed intact and then fermented in oak barrels at a controlled temperature .
Before saying goodbye the promise to return to visit the new winery in Giungano, places where they are concentrating production of the grapes from which the wine cellar obtained for 100,000 bottles produced of which a 30% part across the border to Japan, USA and the Netherlands . Then, before we go, get acquainted with Pietro, the future of the Maffini company, now a teenager but already very motivated and one last gold of the grapes look that glisten in the sun of the now late afternoon playing hide and seek among the vine leaves blowing in the wind that sometimes reveal the magnificent view of Castellabate fortress in the background.