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Weinreben vor den traditionellen Trulli-Häusern in Alberobello, Bild: trabantos / shutterstock

To a wine after … Apulia!

Italy is a destination for all the senses: lively cities, beautiful landscapes, culinary delights and, last but not least, world-famous wine. As a wine country, Italy is remarkable in several respects: Italy is one of the most important wine producers in the world and the cradle of Western European viticulture: with the Romans, wine came to Germany and many other countries. Italy is one of the few countries in the world that has a vibrant wine culture in all regions from north to south. Even today, “Bella Italia” is home to over 1,000 grape varieties.

Apulia, Vieste
Vieste in Puglia, Image: StevanZZ / shutterstock

The first part of our wine tour took us to
Sicily
, the Mediterranean island so rich in wine treasures. In our second part of the wine tour through Italy, the path leads us to the extreme southeast to the heel of the Italian boot: to Puglia. The region is not only known for its beautiful beaches on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, as well as for its vibrant, culturally rich cities such as Bari and Lecce, but also for viticulture. Puglia – Puglia in Italian – is home to the largest wine-growing area in Italy next to Sicily and is said to be home to the most grape varieties in the country. Due to the hot, low-rainfall climate, mainly red varieties grow on over 100,000 hectares, such as Aglianico, Bombina Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Malvasia Nera, Negroamaro, Nero di Troia, Pinot Nero, Primitivo, Sangiovese and Susumaniello. Among the white wines, Malvasia Bianca, Bombino Bianco, Chardonnay and Fiano stand out. The best wines of Puglia grow on the Salento peninsula, the actual heel of the Italian boot. Thanks to the nearby sea, the nights cool down sufficiently, which is very important for viticulture, because the differences between day and night temperatures are important for maturation and affect the aromatic quality of the wine.

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Puglia: Not only Primitivo

The most famous wine from Puglia is certainly the Primitivo. With its highly aromatic profile, the red grape variety is finding more and more friends in Germany and other countries – plenty of cherries, wild berries, chocolate and spicy aromas, who can resist that? The variety originally comes from Croatia. Today it is mainly grown in Puglia and in California, where it is known under the name Zinfandel. Another characteristic wine from Puglia is the Negroamaro. As the name suggests, it is a deep dark wine that differs from Primitivo in that it usually has a much spicier character and more tannins.

But it is also worthwhile to get to know the grape varieties of Puglia, which are mostly unknown in this country, which have beautiful names such as Aleatico, Bombino, Falanghina or Susumaniello. For some time, Apulia was mainly a supplier of cheap everyday qualities. Today, however, there are more and more wineries that reflect on the old Apulian and Salento winegrowing traditions and create typical regional wines in the best sense of the word with original grape varieties and a lot of passion, in which you can really taste the sun and culture of southern Italy.

Our wine tip: Cantele Rohesia Susumaniello Salento IGT 2018

Rohesia Susumaniello from Cantele
Rohesia Susumaniello from Cantele, Image: Televino

With the Rohesia Susumaniello from Cantele you get a tasty insight into the world of the autochthonous grape varieties of Puglia. Or rather: into a rarity! Because the Susumaniello grape variety was revived by Cantele after it fell into oblivion. This wine is harvested by hand and gently vinified. In the nose and mouth, the dry red wine reveals a true firework of rich aromas: Amarena cherry, currants and plums meet thyme and flint notes, and a charming hint of ink can also be discerned. An all-round successful Susumaniello with an excellent price-performance ratio, which is wonderfully balanced and delights both beginners and wine nerds with its great drinking flow.

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Curious? You can order this great wine here from our partner Televino.