Cantine Olivella, Catalanesca del Monte Somma “Katà”
Cantine Olivella, Catalanesca del Monte Somma “Katà”

Cantine Olivella, Catalanesca del Monte Somma “Katà”

Campania, Italy 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$25.00
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Cantine Olivella, Catalanesca del Monte Somma “Katà”

The simplest way to introduce Cantine Olivella’s Catalanesca, called “Katà,” is to say it’s the latest volcanic white wine to capture our imagination—immediately joining our must-have list alongside Etna Bianco, Santorini Assyrtiko, and Canary Island whites. Viticulture on Italy’s (still-active, if long dormant) Mount Vesuvius has long loomed large in the Italian wine lover’s imagination: The red and white wines given the “Lacryma Christi” (“Christ’s Tears”) moniker were so named because the ancients believed that the soils of Vesuvius were fertilized by Jesus’ tears as he wept over the fall of Lucifer from heaven.

Given all that, how could you not want to try a chalky, smoky, invigorating white wine from a practically unheard-of white grape called Catalanesca? The variety is thought to have been brought to the Naples area in the 15th century by Spanish royals, and Cantine Olivella’s Andrea Cozzolino is one of the lucky few to still cultivate this heirloom vine. Cozzolino organically farms about 30 acres of vineyards across three different subzones of Vesuvius, most of them surrounded by scrub and forest land within the Vesuvio National Park.

“Katà” is one of the few examples in existence of a “varietal” Catalanesca, and for those with some Italian wine experience, you may detect some similarities to another Campanian native, Greco di Tufo. The minerality is pronounced, which isn’t surprising given its volcanic origins, as is the acidity. Cozzolino’s hand-harvested grapes were whole-cluster pressed and fermented on ambient yeasts in stainless steel, after which the wine aged in tank and bottle for a year. Red apple and pear notes mingle with a nice smoldering smokiness and lots of wet-stone minerality, with the ever-so-slight touch of oxidation often found in Greco di Tufo wines. It’s a no-brainer for fritto misto and seafood in the Neapolitan style. Enjoy!

Cantine Olivella, Catalanesca del Monte Somma “Katà”


Northwestern Italy


Italy’s Piedmont region is really a wine “nation”unto itself, producing world-class renditions of every type of wine imaginable: red, white, sparkling, name it! However, many wine lovers fixate on the region’s most famous appellations—Barolo and Barbaresco—and the inimitable native red that powers these wines:Nebbiolo.



The area known as “Chianti” covers a major chunk of Central Tuscany, from Pisa to Florence to Siena to Arezzo—and beyond. Any wine with “Chianti” in its name is going to contain somewhere between 70% to 100% Sangiovese, and there are eight geographically specific sub-regions under the broader Chianti umbrella.

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