What are the great Italian whites? There are many promising categories. But an important one that is getting much attention these days is the traditional white grapes of Campania, including Fiano and Greco.
One of our favorite producers of these wines is Ciro Picariello. It's a domaine that specializes in white wines made from high-altitude vines, all native to Campania, grown in volcanic soils. Because of the high altitudes—up to 2,100 feet above sea level—it takes a long time for the grapes to get ripe, and they develop wonderful depth while preserving their natural acidities. With very minimal work in the cellar (natural fermentation, minimal sulfur), the pure essence of these grape varieties and their volcanic terroirs shines through in bottle.
How good are these wines? Very good! With fruit, minerality, verve, and that special sense of terroir, you can compare them without shame to the great whites of Burgundy, the Loire, or the Mosel.