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Villa Dora 'Vigna del Vulcano' Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio, Campania, Italy 2020

  • $36.00

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Volcanic soils make interesting wines, and many of Campania's famous terroirs are of volcanic origin. Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano just east of Naples, and the organically farmed vineyards of Villa Dora are on the lower southern slopes of the volcano, inside the national park that surrounds it. The soil, ground-up pumice really, looks like dark grey Grape-Nuts, and the wines are strikingly flavorful and distinctive. There is no known scientific reason why certain minerals in the soil would affect the flavors of the wines grown in that soil, but I have to think there's a connection.

  • Winemaker: Vincenzo Orabona
  • Farming: Organic (Certified)
  • Variety: Caprettone (80%) and Falanghina (20%)
  • Terroir: Planted in 1950 on south-west facing volcanic soils slopes at 250-300m on Mount Vesuvius.
  • Vinification: 4-5 hours on the skins, controlled low temperature fermentation in stainless steel with selected yeasts.
  • Aging: 8 months in stainless steel, on the lees
  • Tasting Note: Struck flint aroma, with hints of white peach, preserved lemon, flowers, and herbs; medium-plus weight, excellent fresh acidity, very long finish. Fined with gum arabic, cardboard filtration, cold stabilized.
  • Production: 15,000 bottles annually

From our April 2024 Explore Like A Somm Bottle Cult Release:

Villa Dora Vigna del Vulcano, Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio, Campania, Italy 2020

  Situated on the lower southern slopes of Mount Vesuvius, inside the national park that enshrouds the active volcano, the organically farmed vineyards of Villa Dora yield wines of remarkable character and distinction. (The label is a reflection of the energy surrounding the vineyards!) Vincenzo Orabona, the winemaker at the helm, oversees a meticulous process that begins with the unique terroir—a volcanic soil composed of ground-up pumice, reminiscent of dark grey Grape-Nuts. Planted in 1950 on southwest-facing slopes at elevations of 820-990 feet, the vineyard is planted to Caprettone and Falanghina. 80% of this blend is comprised Caprettone, a very rare Campanian white grape believed to be named after the Italian word for sheep (Capra) because the grape clusters appear similar to a sheep's beard when on the vine, and Falanghina, one of the most planted varieties in the Napoli region.
Orabona orchestrates a delicate vinification process in the cellar, allowing the grapes to macerate on the skins for 4-5 hours before fermenting at controlled low temperatures in stainless steel tanks with selected yeasts. Following fermentation, the wine ages 8 months in stainless steel, resting gracefully on the lees to enhance its depth and complexity. The result is a wine with a struck flint aroma, interwoven with notes of white peach, preserved lemon, flowers, and herbs, culminating in a medium-plus weight with fresh acidity and a long finish. The fleshy weight of the wine makes it an excellent pairing for richer dishes like seafood chowder, buttery saag paneer, or pork chops smothered in a punchy lemon-caper sauce.  — Simi Grewal