Sannio is a hilly area north of Naples, straddling the provinces of Benevento and Avellino in the heart of the Campania region, south-west Italy. It extends over the historical grape-growing region of Samnium, the land of the Samnites, a pre-Roman people. Its historical heritage was mentioned in the works of the philosophers Pliny, Cato and Horace, who described the wines as having a "slightly smoky aroma" and an "intense resinous scent". Sannio gained its DOC status in 1997 and its regulations require that the grapes be sourced from hillside vineyards, where the climate is ideal for the cultivation of best-quality vines, rather than valley-floor vineyards where the temperature is humid. The state-of-the-art wineries also adhere to tradition by using ancient varieties in their wines: Falanghina, Aglianico, Coda di Volpe, Fiano, Greco, Moscato, Piedirosso and Sciascinoso.
The Telesina Valley
The “Telesina” Valley, where today most of the companies and grape production are concentrated, was originally a closed basin occupied by a lake, of which the Calore River, the Tammaro River and the Sabato River were affluent. The soils are mostly composed of clay-calcareous siliceous elements, with some rare erratic granite masses in Fortore. The conchious concretions and the fish incrustations (Pietraroja, Castelfranco in Miscano), the colored marble fields (Vitulano, Cautano, Paduli), and of transparent flakes and common chalcedony are not rare. There are signs of volcanic activity in the area, as in most Campania, as in the areas of Vitulanese, Telesina. In the Telesina and Titernina areas, in addition to thermal springs and mineral springs, there are large fields of gray tuff, formed evidently by volcanic ash and lignite (Pietraroja), which is a sign of the volcanic origin of those soils .
The vine and its vegetative period mark the life of the local community
Traveling through its hills it is possible to understand how viticulture is characterizing the land, and how much is the subject of protecting the environment and the source of economic sustainability of its people. In some areas the vine and its vegetative period mark the life of the local community, especially in the areas between the Massif of Matese and Taburno, and the slopes of Taburno at the Calore River. In the province are born wineries in the form of cooperatives, bringing together almost two thousand and fifty winegrowers, associative and productive realities at the regional level and of significant importance at the level of southern Italy.