Benvenuti! Welcome to Puglia!
This October and in 2017, we will be “Kicking Up Our HeelZ” in Puglia again! And you can bet, we’ll be enjoying the fabulous Pugliese wines!
This is the fifth in a series of Puglia PostZ which I published several years ago before I was actually able to taste their wines firsthand and become a huge fan!
I can’t wait for you to join us for winetasting, Salento style!
Puglia PostZ #5: Let’s Go Wine Tasting in Puglia! Saluté!
A Brief History:
If Italy is the largest producer of wine in the world, it is largely thanks to Puglia, which produces more than any other Italian region, about 17% of Italy’s total production!
Puglia is a very long region that stretches for more than 250 miles and has been influenced by a series of dominating cultures including the Greeks, the Turks, the French and the Spanish. Naturally, these influences are reflected in the architecture, the cuisine, and the wine. Throw in long, hot Mediterranean summers, micro-climates and occasional sea breezes and you get an ideal environment for viticulture.
For decades Puglia was known as “Italy’s wine cellar”. Its wines were used primarily for blending into lesser quality wines and vermouth. However, in the late 20th century, there was a shift and consumers wanted more affordable quality wines and competition on the world stage increased. Puglia responded by tightening up their production and focused on producing DOC quality wines and investing in promoting its eno-tourism.
Today Puglia has more than 30 DOC and DOCG appellations ranging from round and fruit-forward Primitivo di Manduria (made from a grape genetically similar to Zinfandel) to Negroamaro– based rosés, to the sweet Aleatico di Puglia.
Although Puglia is roughly divided into three viticultural areas, we will focus on the southernmost region between Brindisi and Lecce where we visit and taste every spring and fall.
The Unique Wines of the South:
It has been written that the “true” Puglia is in the south, below the Brindisi-Taranto line (which also traces the southernmost stretch of the Appian Way, by the way).
The varietals here are almost unique to the area and are considered “the full-blooded Puglian grapes”. Although there are many native grape varieties, the most dominant among the reds are Negroamaro (“black bitter”), Primitivo, Uva di Troia and Bombino Nero.
Negroamaro is almost exclusive to Puglia and is its most widely grown variety. Salice Salentino is a result of Negroamaro. However, it’s Primitivo (sharing its genetic make-up with Zinfandel) that enjoys the title of most famous grape of the region.
Although white wine only accounts for 20% of Puglia’s production, more crisp whites are becoming increasingly popular in the past few years with Verdeca, Bombino Bianco, Malvasia and Chardonnay.
A more recent entry onto the world stage are the rosé from the Salento region which are gaining in popularity and recognition (even so much as being favorably compared to those of southern France!)
So, if you haven’t heard of or tasted wine from Puglia, isn’t it time you did?
Better yet, join us and find out first hand!
Cin cin! Salute!
Everything you need to say “Si” is here:
Space is LIMITED to 12 Guests!
Still undecided? Questions? Contact Victoria