Basilicata is off the beaten track for most wine and food tourists. Chances are that unless you are a fan of Aglianico del Vulture you have never heard of the region. The rewards for those who venture into the region are its rugged landscapes and villages that look as if little has changed over the centuries.
Italian Name: Basilicato
Major Grape varieties: Malvasia, Moscato (whites) Aglianico (red)
Best known wines:Aglianico del Vulture
Food specialties: Luganico Sausages, Peperoncini
There is only one wine zone that is accorded DOCG status and that is for Aglianico del Vulture Superiore.
(If you don't know what DOCG means see this explanation of the Italian Wine Zone Classification System)
DOC Wine Zones
There is also the Basilicata IGT which covers the whole region.
The most important wine variety in the region is Aglianico. This variety makes a number of excellent red wines, the most famous being Aglianico del Vulture grown in the volcanic soils around Mount Vulture.
White wines are made from the varieties Malvasia and Moscato.
Basilicata does not have a tradition of fine cuisine. Rather it relies on fresh ingredients cooked in age old methods.
Like all Italian regions this one claims a few of its own versions of pasta such as the handmade Orecchiette meaning ‘little ears’. Then there is Tapparelle meaning big ears and a wide type of Tagliatelle called Lucane Chiappute.
But of course you will find dozens of other pasta variations as you move from village to village. Everyone's Nonna makes the best and most authentic
Fresh Mediterranean vegetables also feature in the cuisine of this region.
The meat specialties include lucanica sausages
and ham. The name of these specialties derives from Lucania, the ancient name of
the region which roughly corresponds to modern Basilicata. In fact there are records dating from the Roman era mentioning these sausages.
Lucan Ham is distinctive in that it uses pepper as well as salt and spices in the curing process.
These rustic foods need to be paired with a strong wine such as Aglianico.
You can get a feel for life in this out of the way region by reading David Yeadon's Seasons in Basilicata