If she had to choose a color it would be a brilliant white tinged with gold, transparent and clear. Yes, her Pallagrello bianco wine would definitely represent Paola Riccio, owner of the Ale.p.a. farm house in Caiazzo in the province of Caserta.

 

Paola Riccio tastes her wine

 

A great traditional background runs through this place nestled in southern Italy. It sits along the Volturno river, on a 25 year old vineyard surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque valleys. Two elegant and rare grapes, red and white pallarella, grow among the olive trees  and make two great wines: Pallagrello bianco e Pallagrello nero. Plus, Maria Carolina wine, or as Paola likes to call it  “meditation wine.” It is another white wine but it’s from the highest quality selection (gran riserva di  Pallagrello bianco in purezza).  Bringing us back to the history of the area, it’s a tribute to  Queen Maria Carolina.

 

The Ale.p.a Farm House

 

In fact, Pallagrello wine is linked to a history of great splendor and to court banquets. it was used at the court of the Bourbon King Ferdinand I and has been cultivated for such a long time that it is even mentioned  in Latin agricultural literature. This regal wine, from a grape shaped like a small round ball (a “pillolata”), was originally called Piedimonte bianco and nero because the area where it was produced was in Piedimonte Matese.

 

The Ale.p.a vineyard

 

Smooth, fruity, full bodied and salty with a lingering aftertaste, the white wine is solid and fills your senses. The red, instead, is exactly how it should be. It’s the true version of Pallagrello nero, rugged and robust just like the nature of the land that feeds the grapes.

 

Pallagrello white wine

 

Barrels of wine

 

What’s ganzo about Paola is that instead of using an old fashioned bottle with a generic packaging she uses bright and modern colors and communicates the spirit of the wine in a fresh and modern way without betraying tradition.

 

The Riccio bottle

 

 

When she says she “is in love with this place” and that “you can travel all over the world with your bottle of wine”, Paola actually does it. Her logo is a hedgehog, which is what her last name, Riccio,  means in Italian and it symbolizes her strong relationship with the land she comes from.

 

Paola and I on her land

 

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