Paolo Palumbo is the third generation of his family to make wine from grapes grown in the hills around Naples. He is expert in understanding the myriad ancient varieties and unusual microclimates that make his part of Campania one of the world’s truly unique production zones.
Lettere is a village of almost 6000 people southeast of Naples at the foot of the Penisola Sorrentina. Wine has been produced there since antiquity using the native varieties Piedirosso, Aglianico and Sciascinoso. The heart of the commune sits at about 400 meters above sea level. Vines are planted at up to 600 meters asl on terraces carved out of volcanic subsoil. Given its elevation, abundant sunshine and proximity to Naples, Lettere has long been one of coastal Campania’s most cherished appellations.
Lettere is one of two subzone designations in the Penisola Sorrentina DOC. The other is the more famous Gragnano. Lettere is considered superior because its higher elevation produces wines with better structure and more complex aromatic character. Because it is smaller than Gragnano, Lettere DOC wines are harder to find outside of the local market. Lettere DOC includes the communes of Lettere, Casola and a portion of Sant’Antonio Abate.
The DOC was granted in 1994. The wine is required to be at least 40% Piedirosso with maximum 20% Aglianico, maximum 20% Sciacinoso and maximum 40% other local varieties. The Gragnano and Lettere sub-designations are reserved for sparkling wines.
Paolo farms five hectares in Lettere and produces 35,000 bottles per year. He uses the Charmat method and bottles several times a year to maintain freshness.
Paolo Palumbo Lettere
Paolo Palumbo Rosso Vivace