Aglianico has one of the longest histories of any red wine grape, and we at Caparone Winery are proud to be a small part of that history. Brought to the Italian peninsula by the Phoenicians around 600 BC, the aglianico grape was written about by the ancient Romans, including Pliny the Elder. Recent genetic research has suggested that aglianico may have even been the ‘grandfather’ of Syrah.

One of the best introductions to the aglianico grape was written by Sheldon and Pauline Wasserman in their excellent book Italy’s Noble Red Wines: The aglianico vine was reputedly introduced into the Vulture area of Basilicata by Hellenes from ancient Greece who settled in southern Italy in pre-Roman times. They planted the vine in volcanic soil on the sunny slopes of Monte Vulturino. Some authorities say that the aglianico may have been the first vine brought to Italy by the Greeks. This variety was called Vitis hellenica after them. Later this became Ellenico and in the fifteenth century Aglianico, as it is known today. From Basilicata, the aglianico was introduced into Calabria, Campania and other neighboring regions…

In 1988, Caparone Winery established the first American aglianico planting at our San Marcos Road vineyard; we produced the first Ameican aglianico wine in 1992. For more information about our efforts with this grape, visit Dave Caparone’s article in these pages.