Michele Alois is a native of Caserta province. He and his family were important manufacturers of gorgeous silk fabrics – his works are displayed at the Vatican, at the Louvre in Paris, and even at the White House in Washington, DC. Historically, the height of Caserta’s fame as a silk producer was during the time of the Bourbon kings and in fact the famous Bourbon palace in that City is second only to Versailles in size and fame.
By 1992, Michele had succumbed to his desire to be a Viticoltore, planting initially 2 hectares of 9 different, historical varietals that had all but disappeared since the time of the Bourbons – including Pallagrello Bianco and Pallagrello Nero, varietals well-loved by the king and his courtiers. By 2000, there were 14 Hectares and when they are finished, the estate will boast 18 hectares of grapes indigenous to Caserta.
Pallagrello Nero and Casavecchia are sturdy, aromatic red grapes with substantial tannins and the potential for nobility, similar in some ways to the other local native, Aglianico. The grapes do extremely well in the volcanic-mineral soils of the area. Casavecchia is a historical varietal, about which Pliny the Elder had written effusively but which had disappeared until an enormous, ancient vine was rediscovered behind an old house – a “casa vecchia”. Nowdays, even though there is still not much Casavecchia planted, all plantings are said to be cuttings from that one, original tree behind the old house.
The winery moved forward recently by hiring as consultant one of the top local enologists, Carmine Valentino. And Michele’s son Massimo – an irresistible personality, has begun full time work promoting the fruits of the Fattoria’s labor. “The goal of the Alois family is to obtain national and international success with autochthonous grape varieties of their Campania region, utlilizing genuine biologic techniques to obtain quality wines from the antique Casavecchia and Pallagrello grapes, rediscovered by the Bourbon family, and the traditional Aglianico and Falanghina grapes.”