Paula’s Wines of the Week – 02 August 2021

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 02 August 2021

Donna Elvira: Restaurant quality wines from Italy

What strikes you first about the Donna Elvira range of five wines is the restaurant quality labels and the handsome bottles. Bold colours, Greek symbols and gold lettering adorn the heavy duty Bordolese-style bottles carefully chosen by owner Tony Fink as a nod to nostalgic childhood memories when similar bottles were used as candle holders in tavernas.

Named after Tony’s Italian mother, Donna Elvira, the wines are made in the Campania region of southern Italy – just east of the city of Naples – by the Fink family: Sara, Turi, father Tony and mother Kay.

Established in 2010, the 25 acres of vineyards are spread across four locations within Campania and grow the three Italian white grape varieties of Falanghina, Fiano and Greco plus the red grape Aglianco.

Italian grape varieties with Italian flavours

The names of the grape varieties may not be recognisable but they are worth seeking out.

Falanghina grape: its name derives from falangae, the Latin name for the supporting wooden stakes used in the vineyard to hold up the grapevines. Most of the world’s Falanghina is grown in Campania. It makes a white wine with floral aromas.

Fiano grape: Grown mostly in southern Italy but became almost forgotten until the 1980s when it was rediscovered. Now fashionable, it makes a white wine that tastes floral and spicy.

Greco grape: Grown mostly in Campania it makes a stone fruit and herbal tasting white wine.

Aglianco grape: A red grape variety native to southern Italy that makes astringent tasting fruity wines with enough mouth-drying tannins to allow them to age well. Can also be used to make a dark-coloured rosé.

Donna Elvira wine reviews by

Wines can be purchased from Campania Food and Wine at for £15-£18 a bottle. Delivery £6.99 within the UK.

Donna Elvira Fringilla Irpina DOC Falanghina 2019
£15 Campania Food and Wine
4* rating
Pears and frangipane aromas waft out of the glass along with apple and greengage. Then the creamy peach and herby marjoram flavours follow. A nice wine.

Donna Elvira Fink Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2019
£18 Campania Food and Wine
3* rating
Fruity pear and apple flavours have added spiciness. There’s also some sappy green leaf and fennel making this an interesting wine.

Donna Elvira Aegidius Greco di Tufo DOCG 2019
£18 Campania Food and Wine
4* rating
This pale yellow wine has aromas of fresh pear and orange blossom with notes of candyfloss. The lightly fruity flavours of fresh grapes and lime have enough grippy tannins to make this wine an excellent match to highly flavoured food where a red would clash – so if you like it heavy on the garlic then this wine is for you.

Donna Elvira Kaysara Irpina DOC Rosato 2019
£15 Campania Food and Drink
3* rating
This rosé made with the Aglianco grape has restrained food-friendly flavours. Light mouth-watering berry tastes have some apple tannins. Pleasant.

Donna Elvira Settemaze Irpina DOC Aglianco 2018
£18 Campania Food and Drink
3* rating
A deep red colour denotes cherry, plum and chocolate aromas and flavours with redcurrant astringency.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5* outstanding – the top rating given by
4* very good wine
3* good wine but over priced
2* a disappointing wine
1* little to offer
0* avoid – pour down the drain

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© Paula Goddard 2021