Basilicata, also known as Lucania, is an often neglected region of arid hills and desolate mountains in the south of Italy. One of the most sparcely populated regions of Italy, the economy of Basilicata is still largely based on agriculture. Basilicata has only one DOC in Aglianico del Vulture, but it gives the inhabitants a source of pride. And for good reason, as it is one of southern Italy’s finest red wines and is gradually gaining admirers. The Aglianico vine was brought to Basilicata by the Greeks, perhaps as long ago as the 6th or 7th century BC. In fact, the name Aglianico comes from the Greek word, Hellenic. For thousands of years, Aglianico grapes have grown on the fertile slopes of the extinct volcano known as Mount Vulture. During the course of its past eruptions, Mount Vulture deposited enormous biological wealth around its territory and this precious presence of micro-elements, together with the extreme temperature differences between night and day, give the grapes and wine a bouquet and taste unmistakable in their character, personality and elegance. Aglianico is a robust, deeply colored wine that from fine vintages can improve for many years, becoming increasingly refined and complex in flavor. There are also youthful versions of the wine, sometimes semisweet and even sparkling, but the dry vecchio or riserva, after aging in oak casks, rates the most serious consideration.