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Fiano

by Staff Writer - R. Meoki | July 10, 2011

Fiano is a white grape variety used to produce Fiano wine. Fiano is a dry white wine. It has the flavors of peaches and tropical fruits with a hint of hazelnut. Fiano has a dark or deep yellow hay coloring. The aroma of Fiano varies with scents of apples, honey, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple and spice. Fiano is considered to be an vintage wine that dates back to the time of the Romans. At that time, the bees (api in Latin) preferred the sweet flower of the Fiano vines and the Romans called Fiano “Vitis Apiana” or Vine of the Bees.

Fiano comes from Italy’s Campania wine region in Southern Italy. The area is close to Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Fiano is the trendy grape of the area in these modern times. The town of Avellino and Lapio and their surrounding areas are the primary growing regions. The wines are called Fiano di Avellino and Fiano di Lapio. Fiano wines can be fairly light and dry with a smooth texture or Fiano can be full-bodied and ripe when the grapes are harvested late and fully fermented.

Fiano Grapes and Their History

Fiano grapes grow mainly among the hazelnut groves above Avellino and this adds to the flavor of the hazelnut in the wine. Avellino is a wine region in the hills inland from Naples.

From the Middle Ages, Emperor Frederick II was a grower of the Fiano grape in the early 1200s. During that same time period, Charles d’Anjou, had 16,000 Fiano vines planted in his Royal Vineyards. In the 18th Century, King Ferdinand of Sweden was noted to have loved and enjoyed Fiano wine, and he would order three barrels a year. Traditionally most wines at that time were sweet and/or bubbly and Fiano was the popular choice.

After a period time Fiano fell out of favor as a popular wine and was close to extinction. The Mastroberardino family led the recovery of the Fiano varietals. Since that time, the Masatroberadino family is and has been the leading producer in the region. In 1940, they identified a single strain of Fiano in their vineyards and from that vine they began a replanting. Although historically, Fiano was made into a sweet, and sometimes sparkling wine, the Mastroberardino family began to vinify (to make wine through fermentation) the grape into a dry wine. It is grown in many places in southern Italy, but the wines made near the village of Avellino are considered the best. Fiano di Avellino is a DOCG (DOCG means Denominazione Di Origine Controllata E Garantita, which represents the highest level of quality among Italian wines).

Fiano Food Pairings

Fiano can have a hazelnut flavor to it and sometimes also a basil and pine flavor. That makes Fiano a good match for Pesto, which can sometimes be difficult to pair wine with.

Fiano also goes well with pasta dishes, seafood (both baked and grilled) and other Italian style dishes. Fiano is a great pairing with various cheeses, fowl, velvet sauce dishes, white meats and white sauces. The firm acidity of Fiano makes it equally good with fresh tomatoes, and cooked into sauces.

Fiano wines are best when consumed young. Fiano is a crisp, dry white wine and can be paired well with a wide range of foods. Fiano is best if not served too cold, so the flavors can blossom and be distinguishable.

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