Today I’d like to tell the story of Lacryma Christi, an extraordinary wine, well known and exported all over the world, whose name recalls an old, poetic legend.
Lacryma Christi is produced in the Campania region, at the foot of Vesuvius, a volcano renowned for its mysteries and danger.
The destruction of the city of Pompei is an example of the destructive power of the volcano, but, despite this, the area has always been inhabited and cultivated.
The volcanic soil, fertile and rich in minerals, and the sunny climate, together with the humidity of the sea, make this area a perfect place for making superior wines, with unique and exceptional aromas, to please the most refined and varied tastes.
It is also a land of myths and legends, intertwined with history and religion. Of course, there are quite a few legends about Lacryma Christi too…
One legend says that Lucifer, a traitorous angel expelled from paradise, on leaving Eden stole a piece of it, bringing it to the Earth, and used it to make the Gulf of Naples, which is actually a true paradise from my point of view!
Christ, saddened by the loss of the traitorous angel and his stolen piece of paradise, wept his tears on Vesuvius, and from those tears the vines and grapes of Lacryma were born.
A second legend tells that Christ descended to Earth to thank a hermit who, freed from sin, lived in solitude on Vesuvius. The hermit had only drinks of poor quality and Christ transformed his drinks into a very precious wine: Lacryma Christi.
Another legend tells that Christ appeared to a hermit on Vesuvius and that he put him to the test by asking him for water. Seeing the Lord thirsty the hermit gave him all his water. To reward his goodness of soul, Christ miraculously transformed the water into divine nectar, the Lacryma wine.
There are many stories behind this wine, but none with links to real events and the truth is that the origin of the name is not known.
There is much historical evidence that the area of Vesuvius, near Torre del Greco (a commune of the city of Naples), has been cultivated with vines since the fifth century BC. It started with the Greeks, and in fact the name of Torre del Greco comes from a stronghold of the Greeks in the ancient world. This stronghold was then home to the Capuchin friars who continued to cultivate ancient vines with traditional methods, protecting and preserving the recipe of this wonderful wine.
It comes from two native grapes of Vesuvius, the Piedirosso and the Coda di Volpe, and it is produced in the red, white, rosé, sparkling and liqueur types.
The red one is soft, full-bodied and elegant, suitable for pasta and polenta topped with meat sauce and spicy cheeses.
The white has an intense aroma, dry flavor, very aromatic with a very particular minerality, perfect for fish dishes and white meat. The Rosè is dry and harmonious, perfect for risotto.
It is an ancient wine, DOC since 1983, with excellent characteristics and a low price. The wonderful region where it is produced is an area of Southern Italy struggling with economic crisis, resulting in urban decay and emigration. Which means the cultivation of the wine, handed down for centuries from generation to generation, is in danger of extinction. This would be a huge loss, so buy it and help an enchanting land that needs our support!
Rita recommends …
Ma sopra tutto nel buon vino ho fede,
e credo che sia salvo chi lo crede
But above all in good wine I have faith,
and I believe that those who believe in it are safe Luigi Pulci (1432 – 1484)