Casavecchia is an extremely rare red grape variety from Campania, southwest Italy. Local legend has it that a single, forgotten vine was discovered among the ruins of Pontelatone, from which cuttings were taken and used to graft new vines. The variety takes its name – which translates as old house – from this origin, and today Casavecchia is prized for its earthy, tannic red wines.
The variety is found exclusively in the hills of northern Campania, around the village of Pontelatone. Here, Casavecchia wines can fall under the Casavecchia di Pontelatone DOC, or the regional Terre del Volturno IGT title. Casavecchia is often used in blends but local producers who want to raise the profile of the variety have been producing single-variety wines, which are finding favor with an international audience.
Casavecchia vines have low vigor
and productivity, which is possibly the reason they have been forgotten
for so long, only made into table wines by local farmers. However, a
move toward quality has seen these traits become more highly prized, and
Casavecchia has high levels of anthocyans which give the wines deep color and strong but supple tannins.
Casavecchia wines tend to be medium bodied and aromatic with aromas of
dried herbs, black fruits and leather, with vegetal overtones.