Michele Alois lives in the same home his ancestors built in 1825. That's not long in Italy wine history, but the history of Campania is. The Greeks came here to plant grapes 3,000 years ago, but Campania had its own grapes to deal with. And, to the surprise of the new conquerors, many of them made better wine than the Greek grapes.
The only difference in their grape growing was the fact that Italian vines were wrapped around olive trees and grew with them. This brought the vines off the ground and, as a result, they received more sun and better ripeness. The Greeks called this place "Enotria," the land of staked vines. This discovery caused them to stake their vines and took that method to every land they conquered.
Alois is a non-traditionalist. Instead of planting 600 vines per acre as was the tradition, he planted nearly 2,500. This density forces each vine to produce less grapes, but of higher quality. The vines are so close, all the work in the vineyard must be done by hand. This is very expensive, but if quality is your goal, it's the only way.
In spite of the fact that Aglianico is little known, there is no argument that it produces one of the greatest red wines in the world. It is first mentioned in Italian archives in 1520 praising its dark color and chewy palate. It demands challenging foods like wild boar served with Beluga lentils or a charred pork roast with garlic scented cannellini beans.