Sorrentino the lava tells.

Sorrentino the lava tells.

A story does not come from nothing, a story comes from the stratification of events that are compressed, at a certain point, become a small star that, as a sole purpose, has to shine in the night: this is the story of Sorrentino wines.

A story is heart, life, death, memory, tears and laughter: a story is often wine; and when it is so we can not do anything about it, but we have only to drink it and tell it.

Sunday morning  I come in the Vesuvius Winery’s beautiful hall  a warm, warm and beautiful room full of smiles: everyone was smiling because something changes every day. Li is the charm of the lava.

It’s been months since I came in and actually I have not gone out of that room yet: to do that I have to pay a pledge.

Something rips from my stomach a sensation, a necessity, and to put out this red-hot ember that burns my flesh, I have to put this story on paper: I have to tell it!

If I did not do it, I could be forgotten myself, and if this happened I would wander around like an undead corpse in a land of fire and smoke.

Every fairytale, beautiful or ugly, begins with a sentence

“Once upon a time and once there is still!”


A strong woman in the flower of the years, who dreamed of moving away from the earth she had to cultivate to live; today we would say to emancipate ourselves but at the time this word did not exist.

This woman was called Benigna … .. do a little ‘you! It inspires me to respect!

Benigna dreamed of marrying a man who lived by a different job; not a farmer, maybe a worker or anyway a person with less heavy employment.

The earth was hard, the earth was sweat, the earth was black and tastes like fire.

Here on the Vesuvius sometimes everything suffers and cries blood.

When it erupts the whole earth mixes with the lava and when it becomes mud it smells like iron: it smells like war and it smells like change.

This woman armed herself with so much patience and found a worthy man, and fell in love with it: she thought she was lucky, this man was a laborer; a good man, a man who loved her for what he was.

He took it from the earth, took it and at first put it in a vase like a flower; a flower in a house

A beautiful house, and this house was a place not a place; because on the Vesuvius the flowers are few! On the Vesuvius there is the vine.

Something every autumn touched the window glass.

Was it the first rain?

It was the call of October, when the green plants are tinged with brown and the people climb into the vines: the harvest begins!

What a struggle but it is together, the harvest creates union: it is heart and scream.

The harvest is laborious to strengthen an ancient ritual between us and the earth: what will be born is the wine: the blood of the Volcano, the cry of Jesus … The Lacryma Christi.
This man one day obtained a small plot of vineyard in inheritance: a hectare of land that nobody wanted.

One hectare tiring to work where Falanghina and red feet (and also catalanesca and caprettone) were all mixed together, like the dance of love of two naked bodies .a time it did so was mixed at all so bad something was always off.

Falangina her

Piedirosso him.

United, hugged.

He did not force her to cultivate that land … but it was a shame to leave them like that and what a pity it was to sell off the grapes!

It was sad to see these vineyards wasting their fruit rotting on the ground.

In the end the woman, who knew how to do it, decided and got on that black mountain, and with her made a pact: of those silent.

He pledged to harvest that vineyard.

She liked it! The memories of a child, the smile in the morning: everything returned at the dawn of her October: so much so that in the autumn she forgot her husband.

If she had eaten or not, she did not care: she was not a bad woman or a bad woman, but only in those times she belonged to the faun, she belonged to the Satyr and paid homage by collecting the grapes and loading buckets of manure on the bicycle (manure) He went back down in a zigzag and went and came. He became a heroine! And there’s magic in the dung! There is life in the manure.

Go forward ….

Let’s go forward thirty years and watch the dawn of October 1990.

Paolo Sorrentino is the son of that heroic woman; the son of Benigna, the son of the Vigna, the son of the Vulcan.

He has not received a land inheritance to pour over junk, his land is his and he believes it.

He believes in Vesuvius, the first unequal warrior in an arena of peasants who sell their grapes to large groups.

Vassal of a disease, that of quality; servant of an idea: to return the Lacryma Christi wine to be known and appreciated all over the world.

What it does have the good fortune of a doc known and respected, a unique area of all vineyards in ungrafted which means never infected by the epidemic of phylloxera.

This is because Vesuvius is a microclimate so hard and unique that those who come from outside do not survive.

His task was to stabilize wines that had infinite potential but it was enough to move them five kilometers to make them explosive: he had to modernize and make his wine …. Correct and salable!

Today Sorrentino Vini produces two hundred and thirty thousand bottles divided into about fifteen labels; a few years some more labels and a few years fewer labels.

However, an infinitely important thing happened: the father is no longer alone; what was his unique and personal vision. It has declined into a whole new fragmentation.

Giuseppe the son takes care of the commercial part and allowed his family’s wines to enter the continents and houses of many … many people.

Produce to sell …. Or better to produce good things to sell good dreams.

The daughter Benny Sorrentino (with the y) is the winemaker of the company and takes care of the interpretation of the wines.

Turn the fruit into magic and do it without being trivial.

Finally there is Maria Paola Sorrentino, class 89 (we do not say the age) which in front of a glass of red feet “7 moggi” 2015 is patiently answering my pressing questions.

She smiles, but behind that smile there is a vision of granite: she takes care of hospitality and it is a very serious thing.

Indeed it is perhaps the thing that is completely changing the face of Vesuvius: Enotourism.

Maria Paola, every day she smiles at the people and sells her wines; every day welcomes people from all over the world and takes them to visit the vineyards on the lava flows.

When it has rained, it shows you how not the flowers grow on the lava, but the lichens.

This company shows and shows the vineyards that sink in the micrograni of lava and, after, feeds spirits and minds (and even panza) with food products of the territory.

At the beginning they were really droves of German students who were secretly refreshed with sandwiches and whole salamis and hams cut by hand and huge jugs of Caprettone.


This ten years ago! and slowly, stone by stone, They built a beautiful room, with a piano three centuries old and a thousand beautiful bottles, home cooking food and affection.

You enter and you are kidnapped in the faun’s cave and you risk not being able to stay for a long time.

This has made the structure an excellence and Maria Paola president of the Campania wine tourism movement association, that something, anything will even say.

As you have seen and as is my custom, I tell you stories and not descriptions of wines, but two words are to be spent:

Sorrentino Wines: Vigna Lapillo
It is not their only line: it is lava that tells.

On their website you will find the descriptions, but what no one tells you is the emotion experienced by drinking a bottle of white from 2011 …. Seven wonderful years in the bottle and do not feel tired.

A tunnel of minerality and fat fruit; a pulpy sip, an abrasion ..

I’m alone and I’m not afraid of the volcano, my people wake up in his shadow every day; get up, wash (do not make jokes) go to work and the Vulcan is there.

I am afraid of ignorance and I fear the lack of interest, I am afraid of not being able to talk to you, but the volcano still remains there.

It scares me who burns him and does not tremble at the idea of ​​destroying an incredibly unique ecosystem.

These wines are love and fire that rips away life like a sword; there is so much pain in every harvest when the Gulf of Naples with its smell of salt spray and the wind embraces the vineyards; they stretch out, lengthen the leaves but nothing can not detach themselves from the earth.

Then magic happens

The volcano, which takes away and from, decides to breathe, inhales in its rock that salt, that smell of the sea and then at dawn when the heat begins to spread in the air, he exhales.

Everything mixes, the grapes swell; amazed the bunches look at the dawn and at that moment everything stops.

There are no Sorrentino or other companies

There is Benigna Sorrentino, there is the sea, there is the union of a thousand years of human beings who have struggled and sweated, produced and consumed and in the end themselves fertilized a unique land and that today we have to tell .

Only in this way will noise, fire and smoke stop.

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