A trip to Italy doesn’t feel complete without sampling its wines, exploring its vineyards and checking out its wineries. Italy is home to some of the world’s oldest wine producing regions, and is a country who’s very soul seems forever intertwined with wine. Grapes are grown in almost every region, coast to coast, even along the sides of volcanoes! And that is where we are heading today – to a vineyard set on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples Italy.
Wine making within the shadow of Mount Vesuvius is an ancient practice, an art refined over the centuries. Vineyards along these slopes have stood the test of time, and the test of Mother Nature! Despite the devastating results of Vesuvius’s massive volcanic eruptions in 79 AD that forever wiped out Pompeii, the vineyards continued their existence. Come with us as we enjoy the fruits of a Mount Vesuvius vineyard, a taste unique and native to this region.
Welcome to An Authentic Italian Winery!
Our host for our winery experience was Azienda Aricola Fuocomuorto. Fuocomuorto translated into English is Fire Dead, a perfect name for a winery sitting in the shadows of the infamous Mount Vesuvius that took out Pompeii centuries before!
Grape vines twist around and drape down from a typical Sorrento pergola above, as if begging one to reach up and taste the fruits hanging above our heads. In, around, and all around are grape vines near bursting with the fruits destined to make their way into the winery’s tasty selection of wines.
Barrels of wine from previous years’ harvests sit stacked in a natural cave carved out of lava rock, much as they have since the late 1700’s. The cave makes an ideal underground cellar for wines awaiting the perfect time to be tapped. The consistent coolness of their underground home keeps the barrels at an optimal temperature as their bold flavors ferment to perfection.
The winery dates back to the early 1700’s, when initial construction began on this verdant green hillside just outside Naples. Dust coated bottles, remnants of past productions, sit neatly in a corner, attesting to the longevity of the Azienda Aricola Fuocomuorto winery.
Evidence of the winery’s storied past are scattered about, from vintage wine bottles to historic tools of the trade. Look closely! The date the cave was completed and ready for wine storage, 1780, is etched into the volcanic rock for all to see.
Evidence of a more modern day winery are found as well! Bottles sit waiting for someone to sample the fruits grown from the volcanic soils of Mount Vesuvius. And sample one must do! Red, white, both are proffered up to thirsty visitors. Pick your favorites for purchase, as this may be the only time you’ll find this flavor.
A tasting isn’t complete without sampling a locally produced limoncello! Enjoy a sip offered up by the vineyard’s current proprietor. Imagine as you taste, the centuries of history this natural cellar has experienced, the stories it could tell. Like the time it doubled as a shelter for local families during World War II bombings!
In addition to being a wine production facility, Azienda Aricola Fuocomuorto is also a family farmhouse, complete with room to feed its visitors in an idyllic outdoor setting. Our table is now set! Time to savor the fruits of our experiences with a fine Italian meal and the perfect wine accompaniment straight from the vines just beyond our tables.
Have You Explored an Italian Winery?
Touring a local Italian winery in the shadows of Mount Vesuvius is a most decidedly Italian experience for anyone visiting the region. How about you? Have you been to Italy? Did you tour a winery while there? Did you sample the local fruits as a fine wine, as we did? Do share!
Learn more about Azienda Agricola Fuocomuorto and how to plan your own experience here.
All images by C.Biederman.