An organic wine born out of respect for the land
At Cantina Del Vesuvio we've been producing only organic wine since 1996. While this decision hasn't made us rich, it does make us happy and gives us immense satisfaction with our work. We've also chosen to stay local and utilize only direct distribution.
That's why you won't find our wine in supermarkets, restaurants or wine shops; rather, you can buy it only directly from us at our wine cellar or from our online shop. This is a labor-intensive yet sustainable choice that allows our family to closely monitor every stage of production and focus on bringing quality to a limited quantity.
We've been using organic production methods since 1996. We fertilize our sandy volcanic soil only with organic fertilizers and treat our grapes naturally using copper and sulfur. We're certified organic under the BIO brand, and our organic wine reflects the most stringent European regulations. We're also one of the few Italian companies approved to export organic wine to the United States.Buy our organic wine
Our organic wines are part of an overall vision and practice of sustainability. In addition to our full compliance with all regulations regarding organic farming, we always ensure we're doing everything we can to be a sustainable company.
We renovated original rainwater collection tanks formerly used by farmers in the early 1900s. With these tanks we accumulate rainwater to use in irrigation.
Every year we plant hundreds of holm oak trees that provide shade to help lower the increasingly high temperatures resulting from global warming. We're also active in reforestation work following summer wildfires.
Rather than shipping small packages of six or twelve bottles, we decided to open fulfillment centers in the United States, where many of our customers are located. This allows us to make one large shipment per year, thereby reducing our impact in terms of emissions as well as shipping costs for our end consumers.
In 1930 Giovanni Russo decided to establish a small winery at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius in the village of Trecase, about 10 miles southeast of Naples.
Back then, wine was brought to Naples on horse-drawn carts for the "tràfeca." This was a tradition of a large lunch for negotiation between small wine producers and local shopkeepers who resold the wine in the city.
Giovanni's son Maurizio soon began to help his father in the family business, starting out as an apprentice.
In the early 2000s the family business experienced an important the turning point. Maurizio decided to explore the new field of enotourism, opening the winery to guided tours for visitors who had started asking if they could visit the vineyard and wine cellar. At this time the winery also moved to a system of direct distribution, in order to improve quality through limited distribution. This is why Cantina Del Vesuvio wines are available only directly from the winery's on-site and online shops, and not in supermarkets. This wasn't an easy choice. Everything depends on Vesuvius, which provides fertile soil for the vineyards yet in its volatility could erase everything at any moment.
Perhaps it is precisely the awareness of this risk—this precarious relationship between man and volcano—that gives the Russo family's wine such a unique flavor.
Cantina Del Vesuvio has chosen to remain a family-run business, staying small and tied to the local land, accepting all the difficulties that come with that choice as well as all the satisfaction of being able to personally take care of every aspect of the company.
Maurizio closely monitors all phases of the wine's production and distribution. Maurizio's children, the family's third generation of wine producers, support their father in the work, with Giovanni handling marketing and Mariella managing hospitality. Maurizio's partner Ester oversees the cooking school.
And as a family, everyone is always ready to pitch in and lend a hand whenever there's a need to join forces.
The grape varieties grown at Cantina Del Vesuvio are Caprettone and Piedirosso. Among the oldest in history, these varieties were cultivated prior to ancient Roman times.
The vineyard is trained in espalier with the Piedirosso vines while the Caprettone grapes are grown with the Vesuvius pergola method to keep them protected from the sun.
- Vineyard hectares: 16, owned
- Oenologist: Antonio Pesce
- Agronomist: Antonio Pesce
- Vine training and density: Guyot for Piedirosso, Pergola Vesuviana for Caprettone; around 4000 vines/hectare for both Piedirosso and Caprettone
- Soil composition: sandy, volcanic, potassium-rich
- Yield in kg/vine: 1.7 for Caprettone and 1.2 for Piedirosso
- Vineyard exposure: south to southwest
- Vineyard planting date: 1996
- Average altitude: 250-300 meters above sea level
- Agricultural labor: mechanical cutting only
- Fertilizers: manure and organic mineral
- Treatments: copper sulfate and sulfur
- Agricultural method: certified organic
- Yeasts: indigenous
- Grape varieties grown: Piedirosso, Caprettone, Aglianico
- Other products: extra virgin olive oil from Vesuvius, apricot distillate, Lacryma Christi vinegar dressing
"The best way to experience one of the oldest wine countries in the world is to visit in person, and sample the simple yet bold wines...straightforward and perfect to pair with any meal. A visit here is both a pleasure and a journey of discovery: explore the vineyard and gardens and savor a heaping plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce - one of the most humble yet most delicious dishes in history - against the backdrop of the sweeping view."
Luciano Pignataro, gourmet writer