Angelo Pepe is not only a superb wine producer, he has also been knighted for his passionate work for the wines of Vesuvio. The wines from this region in Napoli are not that well known. For that reason, the producers have to work harder to get their wines in the hands of wine drinkers.
One of the best here is Lacryma Christi, which literally translates to "the tears of Christ." The legend says that when Lucifer fell from heaven, Christ cried and his tears fell on Vesuvio making the land perfect for growing grapes. Who could possibly argue? We have been a fan of this wine for decades. Paul Sr. featured it early on as a Wine of the Month Club selection when most of us had never heard of it. It became an instant favorite, especially with the wine salesman since Palos Verdes Wine and Spirits was one of the few shops featuring and selling it regularly.
Vesuvio is also famous for Mount Vesuvius which erupted in 79 AD spreading lava throughout the area. While it didn't do much for the grapes at the time, what it did for the soil was remarkable. The lava cooled to form rocks, which mixed with the soil to provide perfect drainage. The grapes here are the little known Caprettone, an ancient variety exclusively found here and Falanghina, a relative new comer that add tremendous flavors and extracts. The wine produced is quite dry and imposing. It features aromatics of stone fruit and herbs to perfectly enhance a classic Neapolitan pizza topped with shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce.