Aglianico Red Wine Variety

On this page: About Aglianico | Aglianico del Vulture DOCG | Aglianico Taurasi DOCG | Aglianico and food | Buying Aglianico

About Aglianico Red Wine Variety

Aglianico is a red wine variety grown in the Southern Italian regions of Basilicata and Campania. The name is thought to derive from the name for Greece but it is now considered unlikely that the variety actually originated from Greece.



Buying Aglianico

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The name has many synonyms, usually close variations of the spelling Aglianico or Ellenico. Other synonyms include Fiano Rosso, Uva dei Cani, Ruoplo, Spriema, Tringarulo

The similarly named variety Aglianicone is grown in Campania. It is a different, though related, variety and the wines made from it are generally of lower quality than true Aglianico.

The name has many synonyms, usually close variations of the spelling Aglianico or Ellenico. Other synonyms include Fiano Rosso, Uva dei Cani, Ruoplo, Spriema, Tringarulo

The similarly named variety Aglianicone is grown in Campania. It is a different, though related, variety and the wines made from it are generally of lower quality than true Aglianico.

The two major expressions of this variety are Aglianico del Vulture in Basilicata, and Aglianico del Taurasi in Campania. Both of these wines are accorded DOCG status

The variety is also grown in the neighboring regions of Calabria and Puglia, and to a lesser extent in other southern Italian regions. As a late ripening variety it is only suitable for very warm wine regions. Aglianico has been introduced into Australia in recent years

Wines made with this variety are often very high in tannins  which are very aggressive when the wine is younger. After a few years the tannins soften so it is a good policy to give the wine five to ten years before drinking. Aglianico is also used to make rosado or rose wines.

Aglianico del Vulture DOCG

The name of this wine derives from Mount Vulture in the Northern (inland) part of Basilicata. The volcanic soils on the slopes of this mountain are considered an important factor in the development of the wine.  This wine map of Italy will help you locate the myriad of Italian Wine zones

Aglianico Del Vulture wines are typically dense strong and aggressive when young, but they develop complex soft tannins when older. they are regarded as among the elite of Italian wines ranking alongside Sangiovese in Tuscany and Nebbiolo in Piedmont.

Taurasi DOCG


This region is in Campania in the mountains inland from Naples.  Again the soils are volcanic. Two companies pioneered the production of quality wines here in the 1990s Mastroberardino and Fuedi di San Gregorio.  There are now many other winemakers in the Taurasi DOCG and in other Campania zones using Aglianico successfully, mostly as a varietal wine, but also in blends.

Food Pairing with Aglianico

The advice below refers to Aglianico red wine.  Rose or rosado wines are much lower in tannins and are suitable for lighter foods.


OK, forget anything delicate, these are robust wines that require robust food.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Rich and robust meat dishes such as beef stews
  • Braised dishes such as Oxtail, Osso Bucco or Lamb Shanks
  • Spicy sausages and other barbecued meats
  • Game dishes such as wild boar, squab or duck
  • Pasta dishes with rich meat ragu
  • Hard and sharp cheeses, such as Taleggio or Pecorino from Italy or Manchego from Spain

    Some pairings that won't work are with fish or most poultry. In these cases the wine will overpower the food. Very spicy dishes such as those loaded with chili will probably clash with the wine.

    Aglianico is one of the varieties discussed by Evan Goldstein in his book Daring Pairings: A Master Sommelier Matches Distinctive Wines with Recipes from His Favorite Chefs. He advises that aged Aglianico often has softer tannins and can be paired with veal and pork dishes.

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