For over two millennia, the slopes of Vesuvius have been noted for their distinctive wines –  and of them the most popular and widely known grape variety, Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio (Christ’s Tear). There are several legends as to how it received its name. One of the more popular versions is that the Archangel Lucifer grabbed a piece of Heaven with his fingernail as he was cast out and placed it on earth as the Gulf of Naples. Christ, upon noticing its loss, wept, and where his tears fell, the first vines sprung up.

The Sorrentino family has been making wine at their estate at the foot of Vesuvio for over a century. The estate is located in Boscotrecase, at 1,300 feet above sea level, along the southern face of the volcano where the excellent exposure and fertile soil is said to produce the finest Lacrymas.

The white is a blend of the ancient varietals Coda di Volpe (Fox Tail) so named for the shape of the grape bunches and Falanghina 10%. The Falanghina gives the wine a luscious hint of apples and almonds. The taste is dry and delicate with a subtle almondy finish. The alcohol must be 12% in order to meet the DOC requirements. The red and rose are made with a unique local varietal, Piedirosso (Red Feet), so called because of its red stalks. The red, which is aged in large Slavonian oak casks is sapid, velvety and well-balanced. The rose, made with cold maceration on the skins, has surprising structure and a delightful fruity bouquet.