Cantina del Vesuvio, since 1930
In 1930 Giovanni Russo decided to establish a small winery at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius in the village of Trecase, about 10 miles southeast of Naples.
Back then, wine was brought to Naples on horse-drawn carts for the "tràfeca." This was a tradition of a large lunch for negotiation between small wine producers and local shopkeepers who resold the wine in the city.
Giovanni's son Maurizio soon began to help his father in the family business, starting out as an apprentice.
In the early 2000s the family business experienced an important the turning point. Maurizio decided to explore the new field of enotourism, opening the winery to guided tours for visitors who had started asking if they could visit the vineyard and wine cellar. At this time the winery also moved to a system of direct distribution, in order to improve quality through limited distribution. This is why Cantina Del Vesuvio wines are available only directly from the winery's on-site and online shops, and not in supermarkets. This wasn't an easy choice. Everything depends on Vesuvius, which provides fertile soil for the vineyards yet in its volatility could erase everything at any moment.
Perhaps it is precisely the awareness of this risk—this precarious relationship between man and volcano—that gives the Russo family's wine such a unique flavor.
The Russo Family
Cantina Del Vesuvio has chosen to remain a family-run business, staying small and tied to the local land, accepting all the difficulties that come with that choice as well as all the satisfaction of being able to personally take care of every aspect of the company.
Maurizio closely monitors all phases of the wine's production and distribution. Maurizio's children, the family's third generation of wine producers, support their father in the work, with Giovanni handling marketing and Mariella managing hospitality. Maurizio's partner Ester oversees the cooking school.
And as a family, everyone is always ready to pitch in and lend a hand whenever there's a need to join forces.
The History Behind Lacryma Christi
Wines from the Vesuvius slopes were widely appreciated since Ancient Roman times, as vines were planted in the volcanic slopes of Mount Vesuvius in the 5th century BC, long before the volcano swept the city of Pompeii.
‘The tears of Christ,’ is a Vesuvius wine style hard to trace back, that might reference the legend behind Bacchus, the God of wine, weeping the tears of joy that brought the ancient Vesuvius vines to life. Christian monks modified the story for a more recent godly figure, giving the name ‘Lacryma Christi’ to their wines.