La Guardiense: Ultra Cool Campanian Winery With Massively delicious Foods and Wines
I rather fell in love with this winery due to its gas tanks that pumped out wine in containers you purchase at the winery. Now how cool can you get?
La Guardiense is a 60-year-old co-op with some 1,000 “associates” and 3,000 acres under cultivation. It is the world’s biggest producer of Falanghina wine a huge Campanian white wine staple.
It produces some 50 tons of grapes a year! And it is most interested in both Canada and the United States as export markets.
It carefully manages the growers to ensure a supply of high-quality grapes. Cement tanks are still used to ferment grapes but government grants in the 50-70’s resulted in most of the cement being phased out.
In many wineries I have visited there is a wine tasting then food with the wines tasted. La Guardiense just plowed ahead with lunch and wine tasting combined. This only leads me to believe the Italians take food and wine combinations very seriously. Considering the structure of many Campanian wines this makes eminent sense.
We start with a crispy tart of eggs and zucchini in a green pea emulsion. It is served with QVID Brut of Falanghina and prepared in the Charmant method. It is light and crisp and has been aged on the lees for 15 months. It is lighter than a Prosecco but an excellent pairing with the light and airy tart.
The next dish is a pasta with seasonal vegetables drizzled lightly with local extra virgin olive oil. It is served with a Janare Falanghina from 2018 with nothing but the best grapes with a minimum of sulfites used. It is golden coloured with a nose of lime, lemon and pear with some guava and noticeable minerality due to its growth in volcanic and clay soils. It magically coerced tastes of the seasonal vegetables and olive oil!
And the food keeps on coming being a pasta with crushed hazelnuts and cream with a Janare Falanghina Sente DOP 2018. Oooh sublime!!!
Then to stun the overfed crowd some beef stuffed with veal with your choice of an I Mille per Falanghina 2015 DOP with the best grapes from the thousand associates from refurbished vineyards. The fermentation has been in wood and is a “maximum expression” of Falanghina! Or a Janare Lucchero 2015 Aglianico which is delightfully rich and complex but overpowers the meat.
Actually “Janare” means witch and it is well known in local folklore if you drink four glasses of Falanghina a witch will come to your room and will either marry you or put knots in your hair.
And to top matters off a Qvid 9% Brut with 50 grams of residual sugar per litre, non vintage but aromatic and floral but overly sweet which suits the custard and cream tart.
Like Portugal at so many wineries the food was prepared by a team of local ladies serving up delicious traditional fare. Honest, delicious and authentic. Who cares about Michelin stars!