Falanghina Flegrea, Falanghina in everyday language, is a green grape from Italy’s southern central mainland.
Falanghina is a grape that feels at home in the warm Mediterranean climate. The fact that it is common in Italy’s central south also tells something about its preference for volcanic soil. The grape is quite neutral – it is surprisingly low on acidity and is recognised as a low aromatic variety.
Varetal wines made from Falanghina are quite low key, e.g. low in acidity and with attenuated aromas. You can expect to find citrus, apples, pears, and some mineral in there.
East and north-east of Naples you find the Campania the sub-region Benevento, which is the southern part of the former Sannio (Samnium) region. Here you will find the best expressions of varietal Falanghina wines.
The Falanghina del Sannio DOC (est. in 2011) is a merger between four older DOC:s dating back to the nineteen-seventies. Look for labels with names such as Guardia Sanframondi, Sant’Agata dei Goti, Solopaca, or Taburno.
Given its low acidity and low aromatic level, a nice food pairing is a not too spicy chicken soup. The wine is best served at 10-12°C/50-54°F.
Where is it grown?
With its 3.037 ha/7,505 ac, Falanghina Flegrea is the fortieth most planted grape in Italy. The grape can be found from central Italy (drawing a line from Latium to Abruzzo) and south.
The vast majority of plantings are found in the region Campania in the center south, with a focus on the sub-region Benevento. Falanghina’s acreage in Campania has doubled in ten years and was in 2010 at 2.774 ha/6,855 ac.
The doubling of planted area has taken place in three out of four sub-regions, e.g. in Benevento, Caserta and Salerno. In the fourth sub-region, Naples there has been a small increase.
There is documentation of Falanghina Flegrea that dates back to the seventeenth century. The grape is thought to be much older than so but no evidence, neither genetic or from other sources, has yet been able to confirm this.