Ep. 281 Alessandra Stelzer (Maso Martis)
March 31, 2020
Ep. 282 Axel Heinz (Ornellaia)
April 1, 2020
Tintialia is a Spanish variety that comes from the North West of Spain, from the Somontano area. We have the same variety in Corsica and Sardegna with a different name. Caricagiola.

Professor Attilio Scienza

Susannah Gold, DWS, FWS is back as VIA Community guest blogger, this time to help translate her own question to VIA Chief Scientist Attilio Scienza. Susannah's company is Vigneto Communications and her own blog is avvinare. Additionally, she is a Lugana East Coast Brand Ambassador and a Vinitaly International Italian Wine Ambassador. Susannah called the show in early March, 2020 to ask the Professor about Tintilia and volcanic soils. Listen to the original recording in Episode 277 of the Italian Wine Podcast (starting around minute 23:30).

Question and Translation by Susannah Gold:

What is the relationship between Tintilia and other varieties in Southern Italy? I was told that Tintilia is related to a Spanish variety.

Scienza: Tintialia is a Spanish variety that comes from the North West of Spain, from the Somontano area. We have the same variety in Corsica and Sardegna with a different name. Caricagiola. Caricagiola. It is related to other Spanish varieties such as Parraleta not Parellada. It came from Spain. Even the name reminds you of Tinto or red wine in Spanish, just as we would use Nero in Italian. Nero is a grape that gives a lot of color while Nerelli have a lighter color, Tintilia gives off a lot of color. Tintilia is only planted in Molise.

Stevie/Scienza/Susannah comments about Molise/Moving there

Where is Molise? Stevie makes a joke and mentions that she drove through it without realizing it. We then discuss how Molise is offering people homes for the symbolic cost of 1 Euro if they move to the towns and stay there. Molise has lost much of it’s population and the infrastructure is challenging. The VIA community was discussing how we can all get homes there and plant vines. Scienza says that sounds romantic but then after a few months of being a farmer, his students gave up. Everybody can be romantic for two weeks.

Can we discuss volcanic soils, which everyone is talking about? What do they bring to the wine and what will we find in the glass.

Scienza: We need to define what we mean by volcanic soils because that is very generic. If there is a category of soils that is very articulated in terms of their composition, it is volcanic soils. They have different origins and various compositions and ages and can’t really be just be defined as volcanic, it doesn’t mean anything, Let’s take Etna. It is one of the most recent volcanic areas as is Vulture, in terms of the geological origins. Think of the volcanic soils in Alto Adige, they are very ancient and are made of porphyry. Areas such as Terano. Porphyry and Basaltic soils are all of different compositions. Think of the Basaltic soils of Saove and those of Erna – completely different. There’s also something else we must mention. Pure volcanic soils in Italy are very few and far between. For example we say that Soave has volcanic soils but that is only partially the case. Parts of the Soaved are volcanic, parts are calcareous/sedimentary soils and other areas are a mixture of these two. The same is true for Vulture, parts of Vulture are volcanic and others are sedimentary soils of Flysch. The eruptions that happened in Soave and in Vulure were from underwater volcanos. The lava that erupted was then mixed with the sediment from the sea. Etna and Alto Adige are two pure volcanic regions. The others are all mixed.

You mentioned Irpinia. If we look at the area of Taurasi DOCG, volcanic soils are the smallest part of that area. The more important soil is Flysch which comes from the sea that once covered this area. The volcanic soil in Taurasi is the result of the explosion of Vesuvius which ejected lava even as far as Siberia. The eruption shot material that far. As there has been erosion, this layer of soils has been uncovered but mostly the Taurasi area is Flysch. Irpinia is part continental soils from the sea or Flysch, part dolomitic and a small part volcanic.

Grest quality soils come from these mixes of soil that is much more common. For example, ones that have marne from Flysch, alluvial or sedimentary soils called dolomitic and volcanic soils. Volcanic soils come from places that are very particular. Think of where they come from – think of the Azzores, Salina, Panteleria, Vulcano where it is hard to grow the vine. The wines that are made from these grapes becomes very concentrated. These soils are filled with microelements – bromide, zinc and they act as catalysts, they provide energy into the soils. Reactive, gives great energy.

Now you understand why he is called the Flyschman.