In the 1920s, the Irpinia region in Campania was the third-biggest wine producer in Italy by volume. Today, it barely registers on the chart in 40th position.
The decline in production over the course of the 20th century can largely be put down to three factors: the late arrival of Phylloxera, post-war poverty, and major earthquakes in 1930 and 1980. As many left the countryside or sought other forms of income following the devastation of their vines, production drastically decreased.
Happily, Irpinia is in a much better place today, yet it still produces just a fraction of what it used to. The establishment in the 1970s of the region’s three DOCs, later to become DOCGs, of Taurasi, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino had coincided with the first large-scale surveys of Irpinia’s terroir.