At Campania Wines we like to champion our wines (naturally), and are proud of the heritage each
grape variety has: its history, the way that the wines pair perfectly with the local cuisine, and the
uniqueness of each grape variety that is fascinating and sometimes frustrating to those who want to
understand more about the wines of Italy in general, but ‘can’t get it’ due to the varied grape
varieties Italy has on offer.
It is suggested that there are 3000 different grape varieties of ‘vitis vinifera’ in the world, and that
Italy has 1000, and counting, and the Campania region has 300.
One of the varieties which was thought to be extinct, but recently re-discovered was Sirica. The
origins of Sirica are a bit of a mystery. The first mention of Sirica was by Pliny around 75 A.D. This
grape variety was called Syricum, a name given to a dark red dye widely used by the Romans
throughout the empire. Others thought that Sirica was named after the trading town of Siri on the
Ionian coast in which the Romans fought the Carthaginians for control over in the Second Punic War.
Whatever the origins, at the turn of the 21st Century, Sirica was all but forgotten.
Until 2005. Feudi di San Gregorio discovered three very old, almost tree sized vines growing in the
vineyards of Taurasi. Upon visual inspection, it was clear that the ancient vines were not Aglianico,
used to make the world-famous Taurasi wine of the region. Samples were analysed for their DNA
profile, and what Feudi di San Gregorio discovered was that Sirica was a crossing of Syrah (shiraz),
and two northern Italian grape varieties- Refosco and Treoldego.
The vines were propagated and now Feudi di San Gregorio has about 3 hectares growing in the
Avellino province using modern techniques to ensure the long term viability of this special grape.
So, I hear you say, ‘What does Sirica taste like?’
Well, Sirica is definitely not Aglianico. On the nose it has aromas of blackberry, Mediterranean herbs,
violet, and leather. On the palate, black pepper, clove, blueberry with sweet black cherry. The acidity
and tannins are balanced and not excessive. Aged in French oak barriques for 12 months, and a
further 9 months in the bottle, Sirica reminds the taster of a Rhone styled Syrah but not as peppery.
Due to our long-standing association with Feudi di San Gregorio, Campania Wines is proud to be
stocking these wines exclusively in the UK.
The next time you are thinking of matching a tomato based red meat dish, Sirica would be a perfect