La Guardiense

This co-operative, one of the biggest in Italy, was founded in 1960 by 33 farmers and today has around a thousand growers tending some 1,500 ha of vineyards mainly on hilly soils at an average altitude of 350 metres.

The vineyards are protected from the Adriatic by the Matese mountain range and from the Bay of Naples by Monte Taburno. It is a climate without extremes. The winery is at Santa Lucia in Campania, north-east of Naples, and the vineyards are in the surrounding Beneventano province. They specialise in Falanghina, a variety indigenous to Campania – possibly dating back to Roman times – and Aglianico, and are also one of the largest producers of sparkling wines in southern Italy. They also grow plenty of the white varieties, Fiano and Coda di Volpe. Winemaking is overseen by Riccardo Cotarella, one of the best-known and most experienced winemaker-consultants in Italy. Great emphasis is placed on environmental sustainability at every stage in the winery, and they use their own photovoltaic system to produce renewable energy. Over the last 50 years they have adapted with market changes and embraced technology, combining modern methods with their wealth of experience, to epitomise the progress that has been made in the Beneventano region.

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