Southern Italian Wine Winners at the Radici del Sud XVI Edition

Visibility to Southern Italian viticulture and agriculture of olive oils is the focal point of Radici del Sud, an annual exhibition and competition of South Italian wines and olive oils. Born from the idea of Nicola Campanile in 2005 who is an Apulian enogastronomic specialist and sponsored by the Regional Council of Puglia, Radici del Sud has substantially grown in a much wider proportion nationally and internationally with regards to its importance in putting a spotlight on the lesser known area of Italy in the past sixteen years. With such a productive event of winery visits, tastings and the competition that lasts for one week, ample time and attention are given to the revelation of the outstanding quality of the southern Italian wines that is often overshadowed by the much more known wines from the north and central regions of the country.

At Radici del Sud, wines are assessed and appreciated by wine experts who come from different parts of Italy and abroad. Diverse opinions are formulated and discussed during the much-awaited two-day judging of all the wines submitted by the participating wineries. Focus is given to the wines produced from the native grapes of Abruzzo, Molise Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Puglia, Sardegna and Sicily. It’s a very interesting learning experience in tasting indigenous varieties cultivated in their territories for Italy has around 2,000 unique grapes with just under 400 authorized for wine production. Of course, the number cultivated in the southern regions is just a fraction of this while some are even so rare that you almost don’t encounter them in most parts of the country.

In this year’s competition, the XVIth edition held at the Norman Swabian Castle of Sannicardo di Bari and sponsored by the Regional Council of Puglia, Department of Agriculture of Puglia and the Community of Sannicardo di Bari, I had the honor of being part of the international panel of judges composed of journalists. The blind tasting of the 350 wines submitted by around 150 wine producers for the competition is rigorously executed with international and national judges divided into two groups each. One panel of international judges and one national taste the same wines while the other two panels taste the same wines as well. In this way, there is also an interesting comparison of the resulting winners from non-Italian and Italian jurists. While points are given for the visual, nose and palate characteristics, a portion is also allocated for the expression of the tipicity of the wine. Southern Italy is largely known for its potent red wines like Primitivo and Negroamaro of Puglia, Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese of Sicily, Aglianico of Campania, Cannonau of Sardegna, Magliocco and Gaglioppo of Calabria, and Tintilia of Molise, while the whites are taking their own place in importance with their freshness and boldness in their flavor and aromatic profiles.

Having a Mediterranean climate, summers are hot and dry in the inland areas with a tendency of experiencing cooler continental influence in the higher altitude. Along the coast, it gets a bit more humid refreshed with sea breezes. Southern Italy has a profusion of interesting wines which winemakers have learned to interpret by taking out their maximum expression and intensifying the quality. With the right knowledge and techniques, these wines have taken a steep climb in their popularity among wine enthusiasts.

These are the wines that were declared winners, divided into categories:

Sparkling Wines from Autocthonous White Grapes

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Cantina Santadi, Solais V.S.Q. 2016, Sardegna
2° – Benanti, Noblesse 2017, Sicily
International Jury Panel:
1° – Produttori di Manduria, Leggiardo 2018, Puglia
2° – Vigne Guadagno, Spumante Metodo Classico 2017, Campania

Sparkling Wines from Autocthonous Red Grapes

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Vitivinicola Fratelli Puddu, Baloi Bio 2019, Sardegna
2° – D’Araprì Spumante Classico, Sansevieria 2017, Puglia
International Jury Panel:
1° – Casa Comerci, Nonsense Bio 2019, Calabria
2° – Vitivinicola Fratelli Puddu, Baloi Bio 2019, Sardegna

Falanghina

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Tenuta Fontana, Civico 2 Bio 2020, Campania
2° – Antico Castello, Demetra 2020, Campania
2° – Placido Volpone, I 5 Figli 2019, Puglia
International Jury Panel:
1° – Placido Volpone, I 5 Figli 2019, Puglia
2° – Villa Matilde Avallone, Vigna Caracci 2017, Campania

Greco

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Casa Comerci, Refulu Bio 2020, Calabria
2° – Villa Matilde Avallone, Daltavilla Greco di Tufo 2020, Campania
2° – Di Prisco, Greco di Tufo 2018, Campania
International Jury Panel:
1° – Cantine Kandea, Anais 2020, Puglia
2° – Tenuta Marino, Terra Aspro DOP Matera Greco Bio 2019, Basilicata
2° – Rossovermiglio, Sannio Greco DOC 2018, Campania

Fiano

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Tenuta del Meriggio, Fiano d’Avellino 100% 2019, Campania
2° – Cantine Kandea, Biancofiore 2018, Puglia
International Jury Panel:
1° – Tenuta del Meriggio, Fiano d’Avellino 100% 2019, Campania
2° – Villa Schinosa, Fiano Puglia IGP 2020, Puglia

Vermentino

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Cantina Dorgali, Filine 2020, Sardegna
2° – Tenute Smeralda, Smeralda 2020, Sardegna
International Jury Panel:
1° – Nuraghe Crabioni, IGT Romangia Bianco-Sussinku Bianco 2019, Sardegna
2° – Cantina Dorgali, Filine 2020, Sardegna

Mixed Group of White Wines from Less Diffused Autocthonous Grapes of Southern Italy

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Vitivinicola Fulghesu Le Vigne, Lunatico 2020, Sardegna
2° – Giuseppe Sedilesu, Perda Pintà Bio 2019, Sardegna
International Jury Panel:
1° – Cantina Frentana, Costa del Mulino 2020 (100% Pecorino), Abruzzo
1° – Podere della Torre, Vinocontadino Pecorino IGT 2019, Abruzzo
1° A.A. Fontanavecchia di Libero Rillo, Sannio Coda di Volpe DOP 2020, Campania
2° – Cantina Frentana, Costa di Mulino 2020 (100% Cococciola), Abruzzo
2° – Cantina di Venosa, Verbo Bianco 2020, Basilicata

Rosè Wines From Autocthonous Grapes of Southern Italy

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Torrevento, Veritas Castel del Monte Bombino Nero DOCG, 2020, Puglia
2° – Librandi, Segno Librandi Cirò DOC Rosato 2020, Calabria
International Jury Panel:
1° – Tenuta Tre Gemme, Tenuta Tre Gemme Abruzzo 2020, Abruzzo
2° – Placido Volpone, Faragola 2020, Puglia

Montepulciano

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Campi Valerio, Sannazzaro Rosso del Moliso DOC 2017, Molise
2° – Ciavolich, Fosso Cancelli Montepulciano 2017, Abruzzo
International Jury Panel:
1° – Cataldi Madonna, Malandrino Bio 2019, Abruzzo
2° – Ciavolich, Fosso Cancelli Montepulciano 2017, Abruzzo

Negroamaro

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Cantina Moros di Claudio Quarta, Moros Salice Salentino Riserva DOP 2017, Puglia
2° – Cantina Petrelli, Don Pepè 2016, Puglia
International Jury Panel:
1° – Tenuta Giustini, Vecchio Sogno 2020, Puglia
2° – Vinicola Palamà, Metiusco Anniversario 2019, Puglia
2° – Masseria Borgo dei Trulli, Masseria Borgo dei Trulli Salice Salentino DOP Riserva 2018, Puglia

Primitivo

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Vinicola Palamà, Patrunale 2017, Puglia
2° – Domus Hortae Vignaioli dal 1788, Dhes 2018, Puglia
International Jury Panel:
1° – Tenuta Giustini, Patù 2020, Puglia
2° – Cantine Due Palme Soc. Coop. Agr., San Gaetano 2018, Puglia

Nero di Troia

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – L’Antica Cantina, Nobiles 2019, Puglia
2° – Crifo, Nero di Troia-Terre del Crifo 2020, Puglia
International Jury Panel:
1° – Villa Schinosa, Nero di Troia Puglia IGP 2018, Puglia
2° – Pallotta Leonardo, Donna Clelia San Severo Nero di Troia 2016, Puglia

Cannonau

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Cantina Dorgali, Nurule 2018, Sardegna
2° – Tenute Smeralda, Granadu 2019, Sardegna
International Jury Panel:
1° – Cantina Tani, Donosu 2019, Sardegna
2° – Tenute Smeralda, Granadu 2019, Sardegna
2° – Giuseppe Sedilesu, Ballu Tandu Bio 2015, Sardegna

Mixed Group of Red Wines from Less Diffused Autocthonous Grapes of Southern Italy

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Benanti, Contrada Dafara Galluzzo Etna DOC Rosso 2018, Sicily
2° – Cantine Paololeo, Moramora 2020, Puglia
International Jury Panel:
1° – Cantine Due Palme Soc. Coop. Agr., Serre 2020, Puglia
2° – Menhir Salento, Pietra 2019, Puglia

Magliocco

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Marchisa, Natus 2019, Calabria
2° – Casa Comerci, ‘A Batia Bio 2017, Calabria
International Jury Panel:
1° – Cantine Piacentini, Sant’Andrea 2018, Calabria
1° – Librandi, Megonio-Calabria IGT 2018, Calabria
2° – Marchisa, Natus 2019, Calabria

Aglianico

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Casebianche, Cupersito Bio 2016, Campania
2° – San Salvatore 1988, Jungano Bio 2018, Campania
International Jury Panel:
1° – Casebianche, Cupersito Bio 2016, Campania
2° – Villa Matilde Avallone, Vigna Camarato 2016, Campania

Taurasi

Italian Jury Panel:
1° – Il Cancelliere, Nero Nè Bio 2016, Campania
2° – Cantine Delite, Pentamerone 2016, Campania
International Jury Panel:
1° – Amarano, Principe Lagonessa 2013, Campania
1° – Azienda Agricola Molettieri Adelina, Taurasi DOCG 2013, Campania
2° – Cantine Delite, Pentamerone 2016, Campania

Radici del Sud

Website: https://www.radicidelsud.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Radicidelsud