Greco Bianco or simply Greco is a case in point. The oldest white grape variety in Campania, Greco or its ancestor vine was thought to have been introduced there by an ancient Greek people, the Pelasgians from Thessaly in the eighth or seventh century B.C.
The variety is used in the production of the DOCG wine Greco di Tufo, a reference to its hillside community home of Tufo in the Avellino province and additionally is a permitted component of several other southern Italian DOC's.
Plantings of Greco are still small in Australia with Fiano clearly ahead in the stakes. Only a handful of producers are giving the variety the respect it deserves and Sellicks Hill Wines in McLaren Vale is one of its ardent supporters having the region's currently only Greco fruit since 2011.
Owner and self-proclaimed "vineyard dude" and "one man band" at Sellicks Hill Wines, Paul Petagna learnt the art of making wine himself with help from his Italian father-in-law and some winemaking friends at the Vale. Paul says he makes the wines on-site in a galvanised shed, affectionately known as 'The Shed' using organic and sustainable winemaking techniques. The decision to plant Greco was "because both my in-laws came from Campania and one of the most common whites in their village was Greco," he recalls fondly. It's history repeating itself. People migrating, settling, memories of home and growing grapes for wine.
The 2013 Sellicks Hill Greco pours an attractive light yellow/copper colour into the glass.
The aromas were fairly muted initially then really open up. Citrus, stone fruits, green leaf. Fresh, clean and tangy nose. Perfumes continue in the mouth with peach, green apple, pineapple and herbal notes. It's very much a mineral- and acid-driven dry white wine. Silky/oily mouthfeel armed with zippy, racy acidity that goes down easily. A lingering finish showcases lemon pith, dry minerals and a hint of almond. Delicious.
Real interest and personality here, fun to drink and an impressive example. Recommended.