Fiano

White grapeThis grape is a real favorite of mine. If you are looking for some light and delicate, refreshingly dry but with a little more oomph than a Pinot Grigio or other Northern Italian whites; then this is for you. In fact, I can’t think of a person that I’ve introduced this wine to who hasn’t become an immediate convert.

First it has this lovely honeysuckle perfumed fragrance, then on the palate it is mild peachy, sometimes a touch honey’d and can have a nice chalky minerality that gives it a finesse.

It comes from the Southern Italian region of Campania, hence the climate is warm and the fruit character has more richness than those bone dry, crisp Northern whites.  In Italy they like to give it bottle age to deliver a more sweet honey richness. But I like it as fresh as possible to deliver its pretty aromatics.

The most famous sub region for Fiano is D’Avellino. And if you search, you can now find versions from the new world, particularly Australia. These have bolder fruit and for me can lack the elegance of the original style.

The Facts

Fiano is a low yielding with small thick skinned and early ripening grapes.  It can be prone to oxidation, improvements in wine making in recent years have therefore vastly increased the quality potential of this grape.

Alternatives

Vermentino, Malvasia, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne

Classic Regions

Italy: Campania, Sicily

Australia: Mc Laren Vale, South Australia

Food Matches

Shellfish, pasta carbonara, breaded chicken pieces, veal, salty cheeses