Piedirosso Pompeiano Iovine
Piedirosso is an ancient black-skinned grape variety found throughout Campania, Italy. It was very widely planted in the 19th Century following the phylloxera crisis, but has since suffered a decline. Today, the trend is slowly being reversed with producers returning to the grape, albeit predominantly as a blending partner for Aglianico and Olivella.
Piedirosso means ‘red feet’ in Italian, and is named as such because the stem is made up of three branches and is russet-coloured making the vine resemble a dove’s foot. This also explains some of the variety’s other names Palombina, meaning ‘little dove’ and Pere’e Pallummo, meaning ‘dove’s foot’.
Single-variety wines made from Piedirosso tend to be deep-ruby in colour and full-bodied with soft tannins. Typical flavours in these wines include plum, cherry and brambly wild-berry fruit. More complex characteristics such as espresso, mushroom and damp earth are exhibited in the better examples. A minerally, almost salty characteristic can be found in many Piedirosso wines, which can in part be attributed to the volcanic soils on which the grape thrives. All single-variety wines are classified under the IGT title.
Blends containing Piedirosso are far more common than single-variety wines. The grape is grown in 10 DOC areas in Campania; Taburno, Campo Flegrei, Capri, Amalfi Coast, Falerno del Massico, Ischia, Penisola Sorrentina, Sannio, Sant’Agata dei Goti, and Vesuvio. Its most well-known blend is perhaps the Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio red and rosé wines, in which it must make up a minimum of 50% of the blend. Olivella and Aglianico are permitted to make up the remainder of the blend. Campi Flegrei, Penisola Sorrentina and Ischia red wines have similar requirements. The variety is seen to bring softness and complexity to wines such as Aglianico that might otherwise be too intense as a single variety. Piedirosso is also permitted as a minor blending component (less than 15%) in two of the four DOCGs in Campania; Taurasi and Aglianico del Taburno.
Piedirosso is occasionally used in passito which is the Italian style of vin de paille (straw wine). It is a sweet wine that is made from dried out grapes.
The family Iovine is the oldest producer of wines in the Sorrento Peninsula. The grandfather Aniello began with the production of chestnut barrels used for the transportation and sale of wine.
Four successive generations of the family have allowed a selection of wines to represent, with the farms of Vesuvius Sannio and Irpinia, the essence of the wines of Campania. The initial 20,000 bottles produced have grown from year to year, with enthusiastic feedback. The attentive wine market places Iovine as the apex producers of Campania. A careful perspective, passion and experience of the market, combined with an atmosphere of sincere spontaneity characterize the wine production of the Iovine family business.
In the vast selection of fine wine, the company chooses to highlight the Sorrento Peninsula wine, and also a sparkling red called Gragnano.
In 2007, Iovine received recognition with their inclusion in the list “GOLOSARIA TOP HUNDRED OF BEST ITALIAN WINES” for the Sorrento Peninsula 2006.