Traditional white houses in PugliaTraditional white houses in Puglia

Quality awakens

Rivera

Flatlands at the Rivera vineyard in PugliaFlatlands at the Rivera vineyard in Puglia

The Corato family’s grapes: an ode to Puglia’s indigenous varieties


Tenuta Bocca di Lupo

Vineyards as far as the eye can see at the Tenuta Bocca di LupoVineyards as far as the eye can see at the Tenuta Bocca di Lupo

The rediscovery of a unique terroir. Local grape varieties such as Aglianico, Nero di Troia and Fiano Pugliese are at the heart of production here.


Tormaresca

Tormaresca’s grapevines extend all the way to the coastTormaresca’s grapevines extend all the way to the coast

A success story: the Antinori family of winemakers had a stroke of genius on the coast of southern Italy


Conti Zecca

Conti Zecca grapevines as far as the eye can seeConti Zecca grapevines as far as the eye can see

An ever brighter shining star on the heel of the Italian «boot».

The heel of the Italian «boot» is enjoying a massive boost in quality – thanks to native grape varieties like Primitivo, Negroamaro and Nero di Troia.

Puglia is the heel at the bottom of Italy’s «boot». The ancient Romans called this area «Apluvia», meaning without rain. It is an apt name, because Puglia has a dry Mediterranean climate straight out of the picture books. In addition to rain, Puglia also lacks mountains. It is by far the flattest region in Italy. This makes the soil easy to cultivate, but is not necessarily conducive to quality viticulture. The vines produce high yields and are mercilessly exposed to the sun. There are hardly any cool slopes or shady areas.

Puglia is one of the most productive wine regions in Italy, together with Veneto and Sicily. The region has a whopping 105,000 hectares of vineyards. Right up until the 1990s, the lion’s share of its wine was shipped north in bulk. In northern Italy, and even France, this was used to add colour and robustness to weaker wines. But for several years now more and more premium winemakers have been emerging.

Anything but primitive

The Puglia wine region has an ace up its sleeve: its native grapes. The number one export is Primitivo. Its name comes from the Latin word «primativus», meaning the first to ripen or the early one to ripen. With its full body and its spice, fruit and sweetness, this red wine took the foreign markets by storm. Anyone looking for prime specimens will find them in the south of the region, in the Manduria growing area.

The south is also the home of the Negroamaro grape. Though its name literally means «black and bitter», this is hardly a good description of its character. It yields wines with lush berry fruit and velvety tannins. Top wines come from old vines cultivated in bush form between the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic. Here, the broiling sun is tempered by the cooling influence of the sea.

The third grape in the treasure trove of native varieties is called Nero di Troia. It grows in the far north of Puglia, in Castel del Monte, and stands out thanks to its freshness and herb-like spice.

Curious constructions

The appellation is named after the legendary Castel del Monte, a fortress from the era of Emperor Frederick II. This unfinished structure has a mysterious shape: the octagonal main building is surrounded by eight towers, which are also octagonal. It is speculated that the emperor had it built to house his imperial treasures. But there is still no sign of these treasures today …

Speaking of curious sights: Puglia is also the land of the trulli – round, whitewashed little houses with roofs resembling pointed caps. You can find an impressive collection of these houses in the village of Alberobello.

Fresh from the fields

When it comes to culinary specialities, Puglia is a veritable cornucopia. The region is Italy’s bread basket and its biggest olive oil producer, and it also has access to two seas. Plus, fruits and vegetables of all kinds grow on the irrigated plain. So of course the cuisine here is fresh, simple and down to earth, founded on pastavegetables and fresh fish. And there are always plenty of onions and garlic. On Sundays and holidays it is not unusual to eat lamb or kid.

docg areas in Puglia

Castel del Monte Bombino Nero, Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva, Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva, Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale

doc areas in Puglia

Aleatico di Puglia, Alezio, Barletta, Brindisi, Cacc’e mmitte di Lucera, Castel del Monte, Colline Joniche Tarantine, Copertino, Galatina, Gioia del Colle, Gravina, Leverano, Lizzano, Locorotondo, Martina Franca, Matino, Moscato di Trani, Nardò, Negroamaro di Terra d’Otranto, Orta Nova, Ostuni, Primitivo di Manduria, Rosso di Cerignola, Salice Salentino, San Severo, Squinzano, Tavoliere delle Puglie, Terra d’Otranto

Key producers

Wines from Puglia
  1. - +
    Italy, Puglia
    2023
    100 % Primitivo

    75 cl
    Neprica Primitivo – Puglia igt, Tormaresca
    CHF11.00
  2. - +
    Italy, Puglia
    2023
    100 % Negroamaro

    75 cl
    Calafuria – Salento igt, Tormaresca
    Special Price CHF12.00 netto n Regular Price CHF15.00

    20%

  3. - +
    Italy, Puglia
    2022
    100 % Primitivo

    75 cl
    Torcicoda – Salento igt, Tormaresca
    CHF19.90
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