Francesco Paolo Avallone founded the estate in the early 1960s. A lawyer by profession, his passionate interest in the classics led him to investigate a 3000-year-old wine favored by ancient Roman poets and emperors – the “immortal Falerno.” It was a decade-long quest that ended in the development of prime clones of Aglianico, Piedirosso (both red) and Falanghina (white). Today, twenty original clones of the three varieties are trademarked as Villa Matilde, and Francesco Paolo’s son and daughter, Salvatore “Tani” and Maria Ida Avallone, continue their father’s legacy. Originally, Villa Matilde was already split into two properties within the Falerno del Massico DOC appellation (province of Caserta): Tenuta di San Castrese, totaling 46 hectares (114 acres) under vine, and Tenuta di Parco Nuovo, closer to the coast with 21 hectares (52 acres) under vine. The estate now includes two additional properties in the Benevento and Avellino provinces: Tenuta Rocca dei Leoni, with 30 hectares (74 acres) of Campania IGT soil with distinct clones of Falanghina and Aglianico), established in 2000, and Tenute di Altavilla, with 25 hectares (62 acres) within the DOCG appellations of Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino and Taurasi, established in 2004. In all four properties, vines are Guyot-trained with an average density, in the newer vineyards, of around 7,000 plants per hectare. The main Villa Matilde location is exceptionally fortunate, boasting volcanic, mineral-rich soils facing the Mediterranean sun and sea, sheltered on three sides by the Massico mountain range. Its vicinity to the sea combined with this mountainous ring means ideal ventilation, cool nights and warm days, and maximum sun exposure, right up to late October. The soil is mixed, with areas rich in potassium and phosphorus, volcanic soils with abundant, characteristic microelements, and tuff. The Rocca dei Leoni soil is volcanic, rich in phosphorus and potassium, and features lush vegetation. The vineyards have excellent hillside exposures, are considerably steep, and have very old vines. The Tenute di Altavilla vineyards feature predominantly tuffaceous soil with a high percentage of clay and excellent exposures and slopes. The Avallones have reached an enviable goal: zero greenhouse gas emissions on all properties.