There is a variety of red fig from the Irpinian village of San Mango sul Calore, one that is an autumnal delicacy. It is late ripening compared to other figs, which tend to be consumed across the Mediterranean in July and August.
But Irpinia – a sub-region of Campania in southern Italy located 400m-700m above sea level, with 1,300mm of rainfall per year – has a climate that can be defined as ‘mountain Mediterranean’. It explains just how much the altitude influences agriculture and viticulture: grapes as well as figs are late ripening.
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Here, in the warm 2020 vintage, the Aglianico grape started veraison (the beginning of the ripening process) around 2 September – more than one month later than most red varieties planted across Italy. The harvest typically lasts through to the middle of November, and at times even longer.