Piedirosso is an overwhelmingly Campanian variety, with 96% of Italy’s plantings in the region – Puglia essentially accounts for the rest. It is grown across Campania, but perhaps is best represented nearer to the coast and on the islands. The name Piedirosso translates as ‘red foot’, which refers to the colour and shape of the grape stem – resembling the foot of a pigeon, which is the loose translation of one of its synonyms.
Those that have come across the variety may well have seen it in a bottle of Vesuvio Rosso, perhaps Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso DOC, probably its most famous expression (though not always in purezza – 50% minimum). Certainly not as gruff as Campania’s star red variety, Aglianico, Piedirosso does nonetheless have decent structural attributes, both tannin and acidity, but the aromas and flavours are much less brooding, with bright wild forest fruits taking the lead.