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The Falanghina Grape


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About Falanghina

(Synonyms: Falanghina Pigna Piccola, Falernina, Uva Falerna)

Background

Map showing the Campania region of Italy

Falanghina is a white-wine grape probably originating in the Campania region of Italy, which is still its home (though some would trace it all the way back to Greece). In recent times—say the last thirty years—Falanghina has soared back into popularity after a period of relative obscurity.

Falanghina makes wines of substantial body and some richness. It is not notably mineral or fruit-forward; rather, it is a soft, pleasing blend of floral and honeyed (but not sweet) flavors. The flavors and acidity are, in well-made specimens, elegantly balanced. It is interesting that some descriptions have it as a notably high-acid wine, while other reviewers describe it as soft and moderate to low in acid; presumably those are simply the results of different vinification methods. Not a few reviewers detect a faintly “salty” quality in Falanghina wines, especially those grown close to the coast; whether that is real or the power of suggestion is hard to say.

There are two major strains of the Falanghina grape: that grown around Benevento, and that grown around the Campi Flegrei (“firefields”, from being the slopes of extinct volcanos); the latter seems to be slightly the more esteemed. In her monumental book Wine Grapes, Jancis Robinson—relying on recent DNA analyses—actually lists those as two distinct grapes: Falanghina Beneventana and Falanghina Flegrea (though Italian wine regulations do not yet make that distinction). We here will, for now, keep “Falanghina” to this one page, but that may change later. Do be well aware of the distinction.

The Beneventa grape is usually vinified without oak contact, and is held to be slightly less aromatic than the Flegrea. The Flegrea is said to have a fuller body, and thus is often vinified with some oak contact.

Factoid: Falanghina may have been one of the grapes used in the renowned wine of ancient Rome, Falernian.

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Some Descriptions of Falanghina Wines

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Some Falanghinas to Try

(About this list.)

We have tried below to present specimens of each of the two grape types, but it is not always easy to tell of which sort a particular wine is. Those that are expressly Beneventano or Campi Flegrei are easy, but for wines not in those particular named regions, it becomes something of a guessing game. We think we have them correct, but if the wine name does not expressly include “Beneventano” or “Campi Flegrei”, keep im mind that it is an educated guess by us.

Also note that many of these wineries bottle several Falanghinas: make sure you’re looking at the right one when exploring.

Falanghina Beneventa
Donnachiara Falanghina Beneventano

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Vinosia Falanghina Beneventano

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Cantina del Taburno Falanghina del Sannio Taburno

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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Falanghina Flegrea
Cantine Astroni “Colle Imperatrice” Falanghina Campi Flegrei

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



La Sibilla Campi Flegrei Falanghina

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Villa Matilde “Rocca dei Leoni” Falanghina

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

We found no Falanghina wines, of either grape, better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Thursday, 23 January 2020, at 12:54 pm Pacific Time.