If you threw a dart at a map of Italy and hit it dead center, you'd have struck Molise, one of the least known wine areas in the country. It lies equidistant from the Adriatic to the east and the Mediterranean to the west. It is 2nd only to Valle d'Aosta as the smallest wine region in Italy. To put it in perspective, its output is but 5% of the total of its neighbor to the north, Abruzzo.
Its commonality with Abruzzo is the type of wine it produces. The warm climate is just what is needed for the large, buxom reds here, primarily from the Montepulciano grape. Molise is all hills with not one flat area you could see. It couldn't get any better for growing Montepulciano.
Campi Valerio is the project of Vincenzo Mercurio, a man who could not be more proud or more dedicated than he is to his area and his craft. He's not insulted when people look at him after he tells them he's from Molise and they ask, "Where's that?" He's energized because he gets to tell them with all the passion and commitment he can muster. You can imagine that's a lot.
Montepulciano is the centerpiece of Molise. It accounts for the most plantings and the finest wines of the area. Like Abruzzo, when carefully crafted they are large and lovely with intense black fruit and tannins needed to ward off, but not punish, garlic studded pork leg with chile pepper and fennel.