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 the total!
Viticulture is deeply rooted in local traditions but until 20 or so years a large proportion of Puglia’s grapes were used to add “substance” to wines produced in the rest of Italy and France. Thankfully this is no longer the case and Puglia now boasts 25 different DOC areas and some excellent vintages of its own.
The most widely grown grape variety is Negroamaro (literally ‘black bitter’). Almost exclusively cultivated in Puglia, Negroamaro is used to produce some of the region’s best wines, including Salice Salentino. The epithet of most famous grape, however, goes to Primitivo, whose wines, including the Primitivo di Manduria, are generally high in alcohol content and full in body. Curiously, the Primitivo grape shares its genetic make-up with California’s Zinfandel varietal.
White wines in Puglia count for less than 20% of the overall production but are gradually growing in importance. Local grapes such as Bombino Bianco, Bianco d’Alessano and Verdeca rub shoulders with international varieties including Chardonnay and Sauvignon to produce some excellent results.
One of the best ways to discover Puglia’s wines for yourself is to sample them in the comfort of one of our villas. And thanks to our unique in-villa wine delivery service, this is effortlessly possible.
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