Cantina del Vesuvio
"Drink this sacred, ancient wine"
Curzio Malaparte, The Skin (1949)

Lacryma Christi D.O.C.

Lacryma Christi is made from grapes indigenous to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, and has been produced since Ancient Roman times. The first mention of this grape variety being grown in this area dates to the 5th century BC.

The vineyards and the terroir

The vines which cover the slopes of Mount Vesuvius are directly descended from the Aminei of Thessaly, brought to Italy by this people of ancient Greece in the 5th century BC:

The vines are rooted in dark and porous lavic soil, which does not need to be irrigated as it naturally retains humidity, releasing it as needed.

The grapes

Caprettone (or Coda di Volpe) are used for Lacryma Christi Bianco.

Piedirosso (Per and Palumm) are used for Lacryma Christi Rosato and Rosso.

The grapes

History and legend

The name Lacryma Christi has its roots in a number of legends, the most repeated of which is that of Lucifer, who took with him a piece of heaven when he was cast out. When Christ saw Italy's Gulf of Naples, he recognized it as this stolen piece and wept over the loss; it is said that vines of Lacryma Christi sprang miraculously from the earth where his tears fell.

According to historic texts, winemaking of Vesuvius has origins which date to centuries before Christ. Aristotle wrote that the ancient people of Thessaly in Magna Grecia planted the first vineyards on the volcano's slopes in the 5th century BC.

Five centuries later, the Roman poet Martial wrote, "Bacchus loved these hills more than his native hills of Nisa".

After the rise of Christianity, monks who lived in a nearby tower continued producing this "Greek" wine, and in time the local peasants combined these two historic facts to form the name of the city of Torre del Greco, or "Greek Tower".

  • History - Cantina del Vesuvio, Italy
  • History - Cantina del Vesuvio, Italy
  • History - Cantina del Vesuvio, Italy

“Three coins in a fountain” (movie). In 1954 Lacryma Christi was already a world wide known Italian wine.

Varieties of Lacryma Christi

Lacryma Christi Bianco

  • Color: pale yellow of varying intensity with golden undertones
  • Bouquet: pleasantly vinous, with floral broom undertones
  • Flavor: dry and slightly acidic, with a floral and fruity aroma and long finish
  • Grapes: Caprettone 100%
  • Alcohol: 12% minimum
  • Serving suggestions: Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Bianco should be served at 8-10 °C in medium stemware
  • Pairing suggestions: Ideal with fish and seafood, vegetables, and fresh cheeses

Lacryma Christi Rosso

  • Color: ruby red, like the lava of Vesuvius
  • Bouquet: pleasant, with notes of red fruits and spices
  • Flavor: dry and full-bodied
  • Grapes: Piedirosso 100%
  • Serving suggestions: Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso should be served at 14-46°C in large stemware
  • Alcohol: 12% minimum
  • Pairing suggestions: This fully-bodied wine is suitable for meat sauces, roasts, and aged cheeses

Lacryma Christi Rosato

  • Color: salmon of varying intensity
  • Bouquet: pleasant, with fruity notes
  • Flavor: dry and balanced
  • Grapes: Piedirosso 100%
  • Alcohol: 12% minimum
  • Serving suggestions: Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosato should be served at 8-10 °C in large stemware
  • Pairing suggestions: a versatile wine which pairs well with fish, white meat, and risotto