Puglia, warm and sunny as always
Puglia is the second-largest wine-producing region in Italy after Veneto; it makes a whopping 9,771 thousand hectoliters every year. The ‘heel of the boot’ in Southern Italy at its finest: rustic, blistering hot, humble but very productive wine-wise.
The southern, narrow region is longer than any other and has more coastline than any. Thriving with agricultural produce, Puglia is living its own revolution into the future, one where wine plays a big role.
Here’s all you wanted to know about the wines of Puglia.
The heel of the boot
Puglia is part of Italy’s south, or Mezzogiorno. Summers are blisteringly hot, and ordinary grapevines resent the climate.
The region has its own sturdy grapes that have been acclimated to the warmth and produce intense wines of concentration.
It is here where you can really feel the other side of Italy, the warmth of the Mediterranean coast that contrasts widely with the moderate Tuscan hills and the chilly, Alpine-dominated north.
Red wines are the norm here, although wonderful quality white wines and surprisingly delicious rosés are also available. Puglia produces so much wine; it’s easy to find something for everyone’s liking.
Puglia has one of the wealthiest archaeological baggage in Italy; Greeks inhabited the region long before Italians founded Rome. The Arabs took hold of the strategically important peninsula and established a Muslim caliphate before the Holy Roman Empire conquered the land and built castles to defend it; many of them are still standing.
For most of modern history, Puglia produced bulk wine that flooded the European markets. Still, it has slowly straightened its path with the wine of complexity and finesse without losing the warm personality infused by the region’s climate.
Grapes and wines
Four DOCGs, including the wines from the region around the Castel del Monte, and the sweet wines made with Primitivo crown the region’s vast wine production. And 28 DOCs round up the styles and grape varieties that abound in the agriculturally productive region.
Around 50 distinct wine grape varieties cover the land, including everything from Aglianico and Malvasia to Merlot and Chardonnay. The most planted, though, are Sangiovese (15%), Primitivo (14%), Negroamaro (14%), and Trebbiano (13%).
Start your journey with a glass of rosé; San Marzano Primitivo Rosé “Tramari” is a beautiful example of the style that’s growing in popularity.
White wines from Puglia are still not widely available. Still, they’re catching up fast, particularly the ones made with autochthonous varieties like Moscatello like San Marzano “Edda” Bianco Salento IGP 2018.
Puglia’s reds are world-renowned, Negroamaro is a noble variety that will surprise you with ripe plum aromas and dried herbs in a glass of San Marzano Negroamaro “Il Pumo.”
The Primitivo grape is a close second, as shown in the intense San Marzano Primitivo di Manduria Riserva DOP “Anniversario 62” with aromas of black berries and licorice over a rustic and concentrated palate.
Puglia has gorgeous weather, and wine grapes enjoy it genuinely. They show their appreciation with ripe fruit aromas and inky palates of immense depth and immeasurable complexity.
Puglia’s wines are unmatched in Italy or anywhere else.
You can’t beat the warmth of the Mezzogiorno.