Spotlight on Fiano

Spotlight on Fiano

THURSDAY, DEC 29 2016
TOM SINTON

About Fiano (pronounced fee-ON-oh)

Fiano is a white wine grape grown primarily in Italy’s Campania region, just south of Naples. It is a versatile wine pairing with a variety of foods. Fiano is one of the world class white wine varietals.

What is the origin of Fiano?

Fiano is a "classical vine" of southern Italy and is thought to have been cultivated by ancient Romans and possibly even the ancients Greeks. The first mention of Fiano was in the 13th Century.  Fiano dominated the vineyards in the Campania region between the 13th and 19th Centuries. The best-known wine is Fiano di Avellino. It grows in volcanic soil on the hillsides of Avellino and Naples. Fiano is an early ripening, low yield grape, and attracts bees because of its natural sweetness and is called by its traditional name “Vitus apiana” translated as the vine beloved of bees.  

Where are the most popular regions for this varietal today?

Fiano was brought back from near extinction and thrives in Italy’s Campania region. It can be found in Avellino growing among hazelnut plantations which impart a nutty flavor to the wine. It can also be found in southern Australia and the United States.  

What are the characteristics of Fiano?

Fiano has small, thick-skinned grapes that produce a small amount of juice. Wine is a pale straw color and is full-bodied with floral and spicy aromas, on the palate it has notes of honey, pineapple and nutty flavor with a dry finish. Depending upon the terroir, Fiano can range from austere minerality to nutty and rich in style.  

Why did you choose to grow Fiano?

We were looking for a bright fresh wine to complement our lovely, floral Rhone whites. Fiano stood out because the grapes feature naturally high acidity, which makes the wines crisp and fresh like Pinot Grigio; but as a bonus the wines also develop layers of complexity when barrel fermented with lees stirring.   I expect Fiano to love our Starfield terroir.  Both our climate and soils are remarkably similar to the Campania region where it thrives, and the vines appear happy with their cool east-facing hillside, and bottom- of-the-hill location. We believe the versatility of the wine will make Fiano a go-to wine for the summer, as well as a real star year-round.

When will it be available?

Our first crop of Fiano was harvested in 2016 from our estate vineyards. Of all our grapes, it was the one that took the longest to undergo fermentation. It will age for12 months and will be available in 2018.  

Tips for enjoying Fiano

Fiano can improve with up to 2-3 years of bottle aging. It should be served chilled and is a versatile wine pairing well with fish and shellfish, chicken, pork, and veal.  It enhances the flavors of an (acidic) tomato based sauce and pairs with savory cheese or butter based sauces.  

About: Starfield Vineyards is a boutique winery located in Placerville, California. You can also connect with us on Facebook for more frequent updates, on Twitter, and our website. We will be opening to the public in 2018.


Starfield Vineyards is an artisanal producer of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot  from the cooler hillsides of Napa Valley and Bordeaux, France.  Inspired by the “star fields” that make extraordinary wines possible in these world-renowned regions, Starfield celebrates the truly great vineyard sites that allow Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to develop the optimal balance of aroma, flavor and texture.  Father and son team, Tom and Rob Sinton, bring to Starfield four generations of winegrowing experience and an intense desire to reach beyond traditional boundaries to pursue the ultimate quality in cool climate winemaking. Buy our wine online and sign up for your allocation by joining our wine club, which assures your access to these limited production Bordeaux blends for home, special occasions or as gifts for wine connoisseurs.