I had the pleasure of having lunch in October with Ilaria Petitto of Donnachiara Winery. It’s located in Montefalcione, where the heart of three Irpinian DOCG wines are produced: Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, and Taurasi. This winery overtime has helped to preserve the traditions of an area naturally suited to good viticulture since Roman times. For five generations, the Petitto family has passionately produced these fantastic wines, thanks to the quality control, vineyards, and cellar work.

Their philosophy is to preserve the traditional grape varieties of the local area. They want to showcase the wines typical characteristics and let the fruit speak for itself. They are also focused on environmental protection, which is important since over 100 grape varieties exist in this region alone.

We began lunch with a glass of 2017 Beneventano Falanghina IGT “Resilienza”. This wine is 100% Falanghina from clay soils and has intense fruit and floral aromas. Some stone fruit is also noticeable on the nose and follows through to the palate with nice acidity. Alongside the Falanghina, we also enjoyed the 2017 Fiano di Avellino DOCG, which is more delicate and has elegant notes almonds, walnuts, and some tropical fruit. These wines both paired with the Crudo di Spigola, Polpettine al Sugo, Mini Mozzarella in Carrozza, as well as the Palle di Riso Cone Piselli. In easier culinary terms, we enjoyed crudo on crostini with lime, as well as lightly fried mozzarella, and a delicious risotto ball, which is also fried and paired beautifully with these acid forward wines!

For the second course, at Il Gattopardo we had the Cavatelli di Grano Saraceno ai Frutti di Mare. This was a buckwheat cavatelli pasta topped with delicious seafood medley and a nice light tomato sauce. Paired with this was a 100% Greco, the 2017 Greco di Tufo DOCG. This wine comes from Tuffaceous soils and offers fruity flavors like pear and pineapple with a smooth and elegant freshness.

For the reds, since Donnachiarra winery produces some stunning ones, we also enjoyed the 2016 Campania Aglianico IGT with the seafood pasta. This wine is soft and elegant with berries and strawberry jam, which held up nicely with the pasta! After that course came the lamb, which I do love with these style wines. The lamb was perfectly cooked and accompanied by spinach and a potato croquette. Texturally this dish went well with several of the reds, but my two favorites pairing wise were the 2015 Irpina Aglianico DOC and the 2013 Taurasi DOCG.

Lastly, we enjoyed the 2012 Taurasi Riserva DOCG, which is full and intense with blackberry, plum, and cocoa notes. On the palate, it’s structured and all of the beautiful fruit flavors follow through all the way to the end. If you haven’t had or heard of Donnachiara Winery then I highly suggest you try these wines for the holidays! These wines make a great gift to give to your host or hostess, and are palate friendly for the upcoming festivities in November and December!

Always remember… eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly!