· By Elena Whitehead
Meet Fiano – the grape behind our white wine
Fiano, pronounced as ‘fee-ah-noe’, is an ancient grape variety originally from Campania in Italy, the wine-growing region surrounding Naples and flowing around the Amalfi coastline and in-land of central Italy. It loves sunshine, producing a fruit-forward and fragrant style of white wine, and has been planted in other warm Italian regions like Puglia and Sicily, as well as ‘new world’ plantings in Australia.
You can trace Fiano’s long history to the days of the Roman empire when it was used in a famous wine called Apianum. The grape under the Romans was named Vitis Apiana, meaning ‘bees vine’, after the sweet grape juice attracted many local bees. The word ‘Apianum’ is today allowed on bottles of Fiano that are made in the ancient homeland of Campania.
Fiano, while a variety with ancient heritage, has had a difficult time since the mid-1800s due to its low yield, leading to less volume of wine. It was replaced by the grape Trebbiano, which makes more wine but with less character. Thankfully today winemakers and drinkers alike are looking for quality. Modernisation in the vineyard and winery to improve yield, as well as Southern Italy’s reliable warm, dry weather, has seen Fiano make a comeback in the 21st century.
What does Fiano taste like?
Fiano is a straw yellow colour, deeper if allowed to rest on its skins during winemaking, or a light lemon-green colour if made in a fresh and fruity style with less time on skins. Oz Clarke, the wine specialist, describes it as ‘floral with notes of honey and spice’. It is fruity in its youth with white pear, honeydew melon, lemon citrus and orange peel. Floral aromas are often a mix of white blossom and pine. Both acidity and body (the feel of the wine in the mouth) should be balanced, with it neither being acidic or too rich. Overall the wine is bright, fresh and similar to grapes like Pinot Grigio, unoaked Chardonnay, Sémillon, or Chenin Blanc.
What should I drink it with?
Fiano is a versatile grape for food pairing. It is a great match with picnic grub like sausage rolls, scotch eggs or cured meats and cheese – especially when the wine’s young and fresh. Its fruity style means it can take on pork well, or creamy pasta dishes, and even richly aromatic seafood chowder.
Serve Fiano lightly chilled to enjoy it at its best.
How does the Crew’s Fiano compare?
Our Fiano is fresh and bright, harvested from Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot) where there’s plenty of sunshine and giving the wine packs of fruit flavour. This is harnessed in the winery through a cooler steel tank fermentation and rested before we pop it into the cans. Our Fiano is fruity, almost tropical, and moreish; it leads with blossom aromas and has apple and tropical lychee flavour.
Find out more about our Fiano and buy cans here.