The Vesuvio DOC can refer to red (Rosso), white (Bianco) or
rosé (Rosato) wine from the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in Italy. This
is one of the older wine producing regions, with a history going back over three
The designation Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio is used on wines with an
alcohol level of at least 12% and a yield of no higher than 65%; especially
for the red and white wines, this generally suggests a higher quality level.
Various spellings are used for this mark (which comes from the Latin for
"tears of Christ"), with some producers preferring Lachryma Christi or
Lacrima Christi. Peculiarly, Webster1913 uses the plural, Lachrymae
Christi, but this does not match up with either current or historical
The Rosso is dry and not especially heavy, despite having slightly earthy overtones. It is sometimes described as being a cabernet without the
herbs, although this glosses over some of the wine's finer flavours. The
piedirosso grape accounts for between half and four fifths of the content,
with the remainder being mostly sciascinoso and aglianico. The colour is
often described as ruby or garnet.
This wine is best served with lighter meals, and makes a fine accompaniment
to meaty pizzas. It should be aged a little before drinking — two
to three years for a Lacryma Christi or five for a straight Vesuvio is a good
The Rosato is made from the same grapes as the Rosso, although many producers
favour higher proportions of piedirosso. The flavour is less intense than the
Rosato, but the wine does not lack character — it makes a nice drink for
a summer evening and can even go with a barbecue. Sadly, due to lower
production levels and rosé's poor reputation throughout the Anglosphere, it is hard
to find this wine outside of Italy.
The Bianco is fresh, dry and tastes of apple and lemon. It is made from four
fifths coda di volpe or verdeca (or a mixture of the two), with the
remainder coming from falanghina and greco. It goes well with lighter
pasta dishes. This wine is best drunk after one to two years of aging.