Aglianico wine variety in Australia

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Aglianico, the name of this red wine variety which is now at home in Southern Italy, is believed to be derived from Ellenico, the Italian word for Greek. This gives us a clue that the wine may have been introduced by the Greeks who settled in Southern Italy a couple of millennia ago.

The variety hasn't moved far since, seemingly content to hibernate in obscurity in the southern Italian regions of Campania and Basilicata, but that is now changing.

In his latest book Wine Terroir and Climate Change, Gladstones includes Aglianico in Maturity Group 8, along with varieties such as Montepulciano, Mourvedre and Carignan.

spinfex aglianico

In Italy this variety makes full bodied elegant wines with firm tannins and high acidity. Aglianico is made into varietal wines or is often the dominant variety in blends.

It sometimes plays a minor role in blends with other varieties such as the ubiquitous Sangiovese.

The Italian DOCGs of Taurasi in Campania and Aglianico of Vulture in Basilicata are where the best Aglianico wines are produced. Learn about Italian wine regions with this map.

In Australia the variety has been introduced into the Murray Darling Region with encouraging results.

Aglianico's ability to make deeply coloured and aromatic wines in warm to hot regions indicate that it is a variety with considerable future in Australia.

As more wineries and grapegrowers become more concerned about global warming they are looking for varieties like this one, and for example the white varieties Fiano and Bianco d'Alessano.

Some Australian Wineries with Aglianico

    • Amadio Adelaide Hills
    • Atze's Corner Wines Barossa Valley
    • Beach Road Langhorne Creek
    • Brown Brothers King Valley
    • Calabria Family Wines Riverina
    • Chalmers Heathcote
    • Dell'uva Wines Barossa valley
    • Di Lusso Estate Mudgee
    • Fighting Gully Road Beechworth
    • Grey Sands Northern Tasmania |
    • Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy McLaren Vale
    • Hither and Yon McLaren Vale
    • Pepper Tree Wines Orange
    • Pertaringa McLaren Vale
    • Rimfire Vineyards Darling Downs
    • Scott Winemaking Adelaide Hills
    • Spinifex Adelaide Hills
    • Stefano di Pieri Murray Darling
    • Sutton Grange Winery Bendigo

    Food pairing with Aglianico

    These wines are firm and full bodied. Perhaps you could choose a game dish such as wild boar, or kangaroo.

    In Southern Italian cuisine spicier sauces are often used for pasta dishes. One of the favourites in the region is Spaghetti alla puttanesca, prostitute's spaghetti, where the sauce is made with garlic, olive oil and tomatoes but given a spicier savoury flavour by the addition of anchovies, capers and chili.

    food pairing with Aglianico By Rainer Zenz (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

    A strongly flavoured sauce demands a robust wine, and Aglianico fits the bill.

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Varieties described on this site

Aglianico | Albarino | Aleatico | Alicante Bouchet | Aligote | Aranel | Arneis | Aucerot | Baco noir | Barbera | Bastardo | Biancone | Bianco d'Alessano | Blaufrankisch | Brachetto | Cabernet Franc | Carignan | Carina | Carmenere | Carnelian | Chambourcin | Chasselas | Chenin blanc | Cienna | Cinsaut | Clairette | Colombard | Cortese | Corvina | Counoise | Crouchen | Cygne blanc | Dolcetto | Doradillo | Durif | Fiano | Flora | Fragola | Furmint | Gamay | Garganega | Gewurztraminer | Gouais blanc | Graciano | Grecanico | Greco di Tufo | Grenache | Grenache gris | Grillo | Gruner Veltliner | Harslevelu | Jacquez | Kerner | Lagrein | Lemberger | Lexia |
Malbec | Malian | Malvasia | Marsanne | Marzemino | Mataro | Mavrodaphne | Melon de Bourgogne | (Pinot) Meunier | Mondeuse | Montepulciano | Moscata paradiso | Moscato | | Mourvedre | Muller Thurgau | Muscadelle | Muscat |
Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Norton | Ondenc | Orange muscat | Palomino | Pedro Ximenez | Petit manseng | Petit Meslier | Petit verdot | Picolit | Picpoul | Pinot blanc | Pinot grigio/gris | Pinotage | Primitivo | Prosecco | Refosco | Riesling | Rondinella | Roussanne | Rubienne | Ruby Cabernet | Sagrantino | Saint Laurent | Sangiovese | Saperavi | Savagnin | Schonburger | Shalistin | Siegerrebe | Souzao | Sylvaner | Taminga | Tannat | Tarrango | Tempranillo | Teroldego | Tinto Cao | Tinta Negra Molle | Torrontes | Touriga | Trincadeira | Trebbiano | Tribidrag | Trollinger | Tyrian | Verdelho | Verduzzo | Vermentino | Villard blanc | Viognier | Zante | Zibibbo | Zinfandel |

Daring Pairings This book recommends pairing Aglianico with Lasagna and Neapolitan Ragu