Heroes of viticulture: Casa D'Ambra winery in Ischia

The tradition of making wine in Ischia

An island within an island, suggestive and fascinating, this is the Tenuta Frassitelli, from the height of its 600 metres. The Ischia of "as we were", where the sea, the parracine and the wind are the protagonists of a unique and precious territory. Where man has not created damage, but a wine that is a symbol of tradition and elegance.

The Island of Ischia, not only sea and not only thermal baths but stories of land cultivated with bread and toil, of men and passions. And above all, stories of wines that have made history, that of the island and of vineyards torn from the sea and the mountains. Those that make you imagine a project and that passion will then force you to realize, to compete with yourself and with nature, to always improve yourself. Thus was born, in 1985, at the hands of Andrea D'Ambra, the first vintage of Frassitelli, up there, close to the sky. Vinified in secret and presented to his father Salvatore as a surprise, well knowing that the "small branches" of the family and the sea breezes would be complicit in the extraordinary quality of a wine. Luigi Veronelli had been struck years earlier by this magical vineyard, so much so that it was classified as one of the most beautiful in Italy: a hanging garden on the sea in 4 hectares of vines, among tall broom and wild oregano, bought over time in small plots by the island's farmers and worked by "mad angels" flying over the height of these vineyards with boxes of grapes on their shoulders: the help and charm of monorails would arrive many years later.

The history of the D'Ambra family comes from the past of the island, through the history of its wine production and starts from afar, when Francesco D'Ambra and his "carrati" of wine arrived in Naples at the end of the nineteenth century. Viino made from grapes that almost nobody knew but Don Ciccio managed to make love and appreciate. Colours and perfumes of the island that did not spare his three sons, Mario, Michele and Salvatore, who began a series of transformations that would lead the company to aim higher and higher. It was the 1950's, those of the island's tourist development, and while all around the island was being built and exploited, the D'Ambra brothers took advantage of the economic miracle to assume an increasingly important cultural identity and strongly linked to the territory. Salvatore is the first to bottle Biancolella, to give it value and importance, wearing the historical label that we all know. And he did it together with his great friend Luchino Visconti who carried these wines in his heart all his life and who suggested that touch of "tradition" in the background, with the family house and the sea of Ischia. Tradition and elegance, this is how an icon, Casa D'Ambra, was born, and together with her the DOC Ischia, on May 9th 1966, first in Campania and among the first five in Italy.


14 October 2020