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Seasonal Delights – Vino Novello & Castagne


So, what is Vino Novello?


Like every year, starting from mid-October until the end of November, the so-called Italian “new” wines appear.

Vino Novello is a fresh, sparkling deep-red coloured wine with purple reflections, commonly confused with young wines or recent vintages, that is – wines that have not yet aged.

Novello wines follow a production process unlike any other wine with a distinctive feature – fermentation by carbonic maceration.  Another great difference between Novello and “normal” wines is the low-alcohol content as whole grapes are fermented and not pressed therefore limiting the percentage of sugars converted into alcohol content (11%).

Carbonic maceration is a fascinating wine-making technique originally created back in the 1930’s by a French researcher called Flanzy.  Grape fermentation is favoured by the absence of oxygen. This contemporary method was developed throughout the Beaujolais wine region of Burgundy introducing the renowned vin primeur and vin nuoveau.

Novello wines are a perfect match with mushrooms, artichokes and of course roasted chestnuts commonly known here as “Caldarroste”


ROASTED CHESTNUTS  Castagne – Caldarroste

QUALITY FRUITS OF THE CAMPANIA REGION. The Campania region is not only rich in art and archaeology but offers a great range of certified agricultural products.  Following last month’s TASTE OF NAPLES – Local Fruit & Veg (Frutta e Ortaggi) the month of November and the Autumn season includes a fantastic selection of fruit – just waiting to be discovered.


The provinces of Avellino and Benevento are renowned for the chestnut varieties: Castagna di Montella and the Castagna di Serino.

Other typical varieties include the Castagna del prete (traditionally linked to the Christmas season), Castagna di Acerno and Marrone di Roccadaspide.

The chestnut Castagna di Montella IGP was the first agricultural product to have been assigned the DOC label back in 1987 from the Ministry of Agriculture which was updated nine years later with the IGP protected geographical indication label.  The areas of cultivation run throughout the territories of Montella, Bagnoli Irpino, Cassano Irpino, Nusco, Volturara Irpina and Monte-Marano.  Both the Montella and del prete varieties are commercially appreciated and exported abroad, including the canning industries of the United States and Canada.

The popular “del prete” version is prepared by drying unshelled chestnuts placed on wooden structures over a burning chestnut-wood – fire for fifteen days.  The dried chestnuts are then oven-toasted then watered.  Once shelled these chestnuts acquire a characteristic caramel taste.


So, how about some piping hot caldarroste

roasted chestnuts with a bottle of red wine?…


See pages 10 and 11 of the My Country magazine

November 2020 edition for the complete story!

© My Country magazine – November 2020
MY TASTE OF NAPLES – pages 10/11