Ager Falernus

The most prized wine by the ancient Romans.

The current territory of the municipality of Falciano del Massico (CE), Ager Falernus in Roman times (4th century BC / 4th century AD), gave its name to the first famous wine in history: Falerno.
It was the Roman historian Tito Livio, at the end of the republican age, to delimit its territory – having a triangular shape – based on the course of the Savone river and at the top of Monte Massico.

Around 340 BC, the Romans, making use of some tribes, generically called “Falerine tribe”, took up the wine-making traditions of Magna Grecia, Etruscan and Autoctone Campane, developing a renowned wine district, divided by zoning, altitudes and variety of soils.

Three types of Falerno wine were created: CAUCINUM, wine from vineyards on high hills, FAUSTIANUM, wine from the best hills for exposure, slope of land and variety of soils, FALERNUM, generic wine from flat land.

The First Designation of Origin

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire and in the Middle Ages, Falerno was produced under other denominations, losing its ancient prestige; traffic decreased, although some sites remained active on the terraced slopes of the Massico.
We find a partial return to fame in the middle of the Renaissance (16th century), under the name of Fistignano, (Fastignano) when it was praised by Pope Paul III Farnese, who, thanks to the Vatican bottler Sante Lencerio, made use of it.

At the end of the nineteenth century, phylloxera devastated the vineyards. Since 1910, thanks to the commitment of farmers, landowners and notables, the recovery begins, which has continued to the present day.
Greater attention was paid to an ancient grape variety, the “Primarulo” (Primitivo) mentioned in the essay by L. Menna in 1848, before the arrival of the phylloxera, which later also came from Gioia del Colle, thanks to the involvement of Baron Falco. On the basis of this past and after mixed fortunes, in 1989 the recognition came to d.o.c., confirming a more specific enhancement.