Falanghina Grape Variety: A Hidden Gem In The World Of Wine

Today, we’re diving into the world of Falanghina, a lesser-known yet fascinating white grape variety. Originating from Italy, this ancient grape has been making waves among wine lovers for its distinctive flavor and versatility. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or a curious novice, there’s something intriguing about Falanghina that’s worth exploring.

A Brief History

Falanghina’s roots trace back to ancient Rome, where it was highly prized for its robust character. Historians believe it was a key ingredient in Falernian, the most famous wine of Roman times. Its revival in modern times, particularly in the Campania region of Italy, has brought it back into the limelight. This comeback story is a testament to the enduring appeal of this ancient grape.


Falanghina grapes thrive in warm, Mediterranean climates. The vine favors volcanic soils, a factor that contributes to its unique taste profile. The grapes are typically small and round, with a thick skin that protects them from the harsh coastal elements. This resilience is mirrored in the strong, vivacious character of the wines it produces.

Flavor Profile

Falanghina wines are known for their bright, refreshing acidity and aromatic complexity. Expect a symphony of flavors ranging from crisp apple and pear to more exotic notes like citrus blossom and spicy ginger. There’s often a delightful minerality, thanks to the volcanic soils, which adds an intriguing layer to the wine’s profile.

Different Styles of Wines

Falanghina is mostly known for its still, dry white wines, which are the most common expression of this grape. Falanghina frequently finds itself mixed with other native Italian grape types or crafted into a sweet passito wine. However, there’s a growing trend towards producing wines that exclusively showcase this fascinating grape’s unique characteristics.

Wine Making and Maturation Options

Winemakers typically ferment Falanghina at cooler temperatures to preserve its aromatic qualities. Stainless steel tanks are commonly used for fermentation and maturation, helping to maintain the wine’s crisp, fresh character. Some producers, however, are experimenting with oak aging, which imparts additional complexity and richness to the wine, though this method is less traditional.

Important Regions

Falanghina finds its heartland in the Campania region, particularly in the areas around Naples. The Sannio DOC, located in the province of Benevento, is known for producing some of the finest Falanghinas. Additionally, the volcanic soils of the Phlegraean Fields near Naples contribute to the grape’s unique minerality and depth. Even though plantings beyond Italy are rare, Falanghina has, since 2014, officially been recognized as an approved grape varietal for use the United.

Food Pairing Suggestions

The bright acidity and aromatic profile of Falanghina make it a versatile partner for a wide range of dishes. It pairs beautifully with seafood, especially shellfish and light fish dishes. Its zestiness cuts through the richness of creamy pastas and risottos. For a regional pairing, try it with Neapolitan cuisine, such as a classic Caprese salad or a light, seafood-based pizza. Vegetarian dishes with fresh, green herbs also harmonize wonderfully with Falanghina’s vibrant character.

Falanghina may not have the same fame as some of its Italian counterparts, but it certainly deserves a place in your wine explorations. Its combination of ancient heritage, unique flavor profile, and versatility in pairing makes it a grape variety that’s both exciting and approachable.

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Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

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