The house wine by Michele Alois has its roots in the consolidated experience and passion of the Family Alois in the wine industry, placing as leitmotif of its production to the pursuit of authenticity and high quality standards.
Sometimes when you travel around the world you may end up very close to home when you least expect it. For instance, the mythical Silk Way identified by geographer Von Rikhtfongenn, sharing the same old memories and stories of civilizations and customs was also, in some cases, the Wine Way.
To verify how naturally wine and silk meet, it is sufficient to arrive in San Leucio. There, as in the rest of the world, the name Alois is synonymous with quality in the production and creation of silk cloths that are present in the most famous rooms of the world: from the Italian Parliament to the White House, to the Louvre Museum. Born in 1885 in the time of Ferdinand IV of the Bourbon family, the Alois factory built a constant success under the head of the household, until 1992 when Michele Alois planted 9 autochthonous grape varietals and created a double activity for the already established family dynasty.
Casamiadecor - March 2005 n.105
At the foothills of the Caiatini Moutains in the province of Caserta, in a plateau comprised of nine beautiful hectares, Michele Alois made his dream come true: the vineyard, the cellar and a rural home with Bourbon origins dates from the early eighteen hundreds.
Tall and sturdy, with a face which seems moulded by the earth, Michele is a lover of fresh air and the countryside. It was during his hours of meditation in the family home of Pontelatone, absorbed by old memories and friendly bet, that he planted his first precious vine of the autochthonous Casavecchia grape variety.
The bet coincides with his pride for the land where he was born. As Michele Alois has said.
..."The vineyard for me is love, in sixty-plus years I have been back in the game: to make a good wine takes good grapes, and grapes to make a good one should not lose an eye: so I never miss though I have excellent employees."AD Campania Edizioni Condé Nast - n.271 dicembre 2003
The Alois family, whose origins are from the ancient Roman city of Capua, came to Caserta in the second half of the 15th Century.
Although their Lombardi roots are well documented, the Alois family was not nobility. They were common people, but well placed enough in society to establish matrimonial alliances with the important noble families of the Bourbon kingdom.
Giovan Francesco Alois was born to Aloisio Alois and Ippolita Caracciolo, who was of a noble family, around 1510. He married Isabell Caracciolo and had five children: Ippolita, Beatrice, Luigi, Orazio and Giovan Battista.
Although their primary residence was in Piedmont (where the house still exists), they spent the majority of their time in a house above an arch named Supportico dei Caserta in Casertavecchia near the church of San Nicola.
There, Giovan Francesco had several well-known tutors such as Pietro Summonte (1453-1526) and developed an association and friendships with several of the famous Humanists of that time, such as the philosopher Scipione Capece.
Among the Neapolitan humanists, Giovan Francesco Alois was known as Il Caserta. He died on March 4, 1564, condemned to death by the Inquisition for his reformist ideas. Giovan Francesco was beheaded by the guillotine and his severed head was burned.
A riot ensued which some historians believe formed the beginning of a much larger rebellion.
Wine production in the Southern Italian region of Campania is an ancient tradition originating with Greek colonization in the Eighth Century B.C.
That passion for wine resurged in during the rule of the Bourbon kings, particularly in the second half of the Eighteenth Century.
The Bourbon familys interest in wine lead to a decision by King Ferdinando IV to plant an experimental vineyard near Caserta in San Leucio (small town known for its silk fabrics) named Vigna del Ventaglio or the fan vineyard.
The vineyard was laid out in the shape of a fan with its gate at the centre of the vineyard and 10 rows of vines extending from the centre outward from right to left in a semicircular. Each row contained a different grape varietal, indicated on a Travertino, a typical stone slab from the area, at the beginning of each row.
The sun exposure and the yield per plant were optimal. In the first two decades of the Nineteenth Century, the Vigna del Ventaglio produced an average of 80 Barili of wine (approximately 1600 litres).
The location was perfectly situated on the right hand side (southeast) of Mountain San Leucio between the Belvedere (where the church of San Leucio is located) and the hill of San Silvestro (on which today sits a World Wildlife Fund reserve).
Famous writer Cavalier Sancio wrote the flowing in 1826 about Vigna del Ventaglio:
Nature, altitude and the position of the land made this location very suitable for a vineyard.
The vineyard was planted 50 years earlier on several pieces of land (described in section 43 on local maps) bought from the Panaro family.
The shape of this vineyard is unique: semicircular, divided in 10 rows similar to a fan from which it took its name. The grape vines are short, according to the Italian system, and total as much as 10.000 plant. No other trees have been planted in the vineyard, nor any other kind of cultivation, except for fava beans which are used for fertilizer.
At the very top of the hill, outside the vineyard, a farmhouse surrounded by trees under whose shadow a few seats and benches have been built in the year 1828 to allow the Royal Family to stop and rest.