~ Let’s Go Wine Tasting at Masseria Li Veli ~
A Perfect Blend of North and South Finds a Home in Puglia!
We are welcomed to Masseria Li Veli by Giovanni Dimitri, General Manager and our host for a private tour and tasting.
Masseria Li Veli, “A Vineyard Between Two Seas”
Masseria Li Veli is located midway between Brindisi and Lecce in the Commune of Cellino San Marco. With 33 hectares (approximately 81.5 acres), the vineyard is in the southernmost sub-region of Puglia, the Salento, and lies between the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian to the west.
A Tradition of Wine Making…
This land has been producing wine since the time of the Messapi (which means “people between two seas”) which is evidenced by the large quantity of jugs, pots, wine ladles and other objects of wine production and consumption found here and which bear witness to the longstanding tradition of wine making in this area.
The Marchese and His Vision…
The original structure of Masseria LiVeli, the “fattoria” or cellar, was built in the early 1900’s by Marchese Antonio de Viti de Marco. The Marchese, an aristocrat and highly educated economist and politician, was also an enlightened farmer and landowner.
After spending time in the United States and being exposed to new ideas and methods, he returned to Italy in hopes of bringing new practices and wealth to his native land. His ideas and estate became a model for all of the South.
Production and activity stopped during World War II and, with the death of the Marchese in 1943 and no sons to assume responsibility, Masseria Li Veli was maintained by a foundation until 1965 when it was abandoned.
New Life for Li Veli…
It wasn’t until 1999 that the Falvo family from Siena, Tuscany, with their 30 years of wine making experience decided, not only to invest in Puglia but, to honor the legacy of the Marchese and to carry on his work and memory.
To this end they have renovated and transformed the perfectly regulated above-ground “cellar” with its limestone vaulted ceiling and entry into a truly elegant and magnificent tasting room and winery.
Altogether Li Veli grows eleven sensational varietals (nine reds and two whites from the nearby Itria Valley) yielding approximately 32-33k cases annually. Hand-picked, the grapes are literally minutes from cutting to selection with everything being done on the premises.
Rows and rows of stainless steel and new French oak barriques filled with traditional native varietals, including Negroamaro, Primitivo, Susumaniello and Aleatico, are stored using the most modern and innovative vinification techniques to ensure the highest quality wines.
Dedication to a Legacy…
Giovanni shares the legacy of the Marchese, the dedication of the Falvo family and educates us while we enjoy our tasting of five of Li Veli’s premium wines: Fiano,Verdeca, Orion, Malvasa Nera, and Passamante.
Surely the Marchese would be proud to see his vision realized.
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