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Apulia Native Vines – First Part
Rosa D'Ancona – January 28, 2006



Introduction

 
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As a result of the re-qualification and re-evaluation process of the unique Apulia region vitivinicultural legacy, promoted by local producers and public administrators, the regional wines have met with the favor of the Italian and international markets in recent years. In addition, the current trend has attracted attention and investment from Northern Italian entrepreneurs. This is a true rebirth for the wine producing sector, one which was unimaginable just 20 years ago,. Back then just a very small amount of wine was bottled and most product was shipped up north, where it was used in several quality blends.

Tired of producing wines destined to other regional markets which generated little or no economic return, some Apulia producers realized that it was time for a cultural shift, in addition to financial investments. In order to produce quality wines with great personality, the transformation needed to be all-encompassing, and invested in the whole production process. It wasn't an easy task, however, the initiative of a few pioneers started a trend that currently is rewarding the whole region. Furthermore, many projects aimed at modernizing production in the vineyards as well as at the winery, were started in the last five years. An example of such an initiative is the"Menhir" project, started in 2004 by the Regional Association of Apulia Wine Producers.

The objective of the project is to improve and modernize the Apulia wines in general, starting from the ones produced in the Salento area. The vision of the organizers is to make these an example to be followed by the rest of the region, by combining historic tradition and cutting edge innovation. Thus the name "Menhir", which defines the stone monoliths of times long past in this part of the world. The name suggests solid, monolithic strength which lasts over time. The project calls for the reorganization of the vineyards, limiting production to 80 tons per hectare (about 3.34 metric tons per acre) with high density of vines and extreme care throughout the production phases, in the vineyards as well as at the winery. Patient, ongoing, consistent work aimed at producing top Pugliesi wines while adding value to the potential of the region's enology.

Producing around seven million hectoliters per year, Apulia is an important player in the Italian wine world. Its wines are so unusual in part because of the climate, and in part because of the large use of grapes from native vines.

Though the regional DOC wines account for just 4% of the total production, the 25 DOCs and the six IGTs are an important factor which contributes to promoting the whole wine, food and tourist sectors. In fact, the nine 'wine roads' represent a strong magnet for tourism, while at the same time promote environmental preservation. The DOC wines are produced across the board in the whole region, which can be split into four major wine zones: Daunia, Terra di Bari, Salento and Tarantino.

Apulia DOC wines

The DOC wines produced in the province of Foggia are:
  • Orta Nova
  • Rosso di Cerignola
  • Cacc'è Mmitte di Lucera
  • San Severo
 
In the province of Bari we find the following DOC wines:
  • Castel del Monte
  • Gioia del Colle
  • Gravina
  • Locorotondo
  • Martina Franca
  • Moscato di Trani
  • Barletta
  • Rosso Canosa.
 
Lecce, well known for its great red wines, produces the following DOCs:
  • Salice Salentino
  • Matino
  • Leverano
  • Squinzano
  • Copertino
  • Alezio
  • Nardò.
 
Finally, the province of Taranto produces two DOCs:
  • Lizzano
  • Primitivo di Manduria.
 
The six regional IGT wines are:
  • Daunia
  • Murgia
  • Puglia
  • Salento
  • Tarantino
  • Valle D'Itri.

The approach to native vines by local vintners has changed considerably in the last 10 to 20 years. In addition to producing consistently high quality wines, the native grapes guarantee different, unique wines that stand out both in the Italian and the international markets.

Among the red grapes that have achieved national and international appreciation are the Primitivo (which has the same DNA as California Zinfandel), Negro Amaro (known also as Negramaro, or Bitter Black) , Nero di Troia (Black from Troy), Malvasia Nera, Aglianico, Susumaniello (known also as Somarello Rosso, or Little Red Donkey), Bombino Nero, and Aleatico. Among the white grapes, the most outstanding are the Fiano, Falanghina, Bianco d'Alessano, Impigno and Verdeca.

DOC wines made with the main native grapes

NATIVE GRAPES DOC WINES
DOCG WINES
Aleatico
  • Aleatico di Puglia
  • Gioia del Colle
  • Salice Salentino

 

Negroamaro
  • Aleatico di Puglia
  • Alezio
  • Brindisi
  • Copertino
  • Galatina
  • Gioia del Colle, Leverano
  • Lizzano
  • Matino
  • Nardò
  • Ostuni
  • Rosso di Cerignola
  • Salice Salentino
  • Squinzano
Primitivo
  • Aleatico di Puglia
  • Gioia del Colle
  • Primitivo di Manduria

 

Nero di Troia
  • Cacc'è Mmitte di Lucera
  • Castel del Monte
  • Orta Nova
  • Rosso Canosa
  • Rosso di Barletta
  • Rosso di Cerignola
Susamaniello
  • Brindisi
  • Ostuni

 

Malvasia Nera
  • Aleatico di Puglia
  • Alezio
  • Brindisi
  • Cacc'è Mmitte di Lucera
  • Copertino
  • Gioia del Colle
  • Leveranno
  • Lizzano
  • Matino
  • Nardò
  • Ostuni
  • Salice Salentino
  • Squinzano
Verdeca
  • Gravina
  • Locorotondo
  • Martina Franca
  • Ostuni
  • San Severo

 

Bianco d'Alessano
  • Gravina, Lizzano
  • Locorotondo
  • Martina Franca
  • Ostuni

IGT wines made with the main native grapes

IGT WINES

NATIVE GRAPES

Daunia

  • Aleatico
  • Bianco d'Alessano
  • Bombino Bianco
  • Bombino Nero
  • Negro Amaro
  • Primitivo
  • Uva di Troia
  • Verdeca

Murgia

  • Aleatico
  • Bianco d'Alessano
  • Bombino Bianco
  • Bombino Nero
  • Pampanuto
  • Primitivo
  • Uva di Troia
  • Verdeca

Puglia

  • Aleatico
  • Bianco d'Alessano
  • Bombino Bianco
  • Bombino Nero
  • Negro Amaro
  • Pampanuto
  • Primitivo
  • Uva di Troia
  • Verdeca

Salento

  • Bombino Bianco
  • Negro Amaro
  • Primitivo
  • Verdeca

Tarantino

  • Aleatico
  • Bianco d'Alessano
  • Bombino Bianco
  • Bombino Nero
  • Malvasia Bianca di Lecce
  • Malvasia Nera di Brindisi
  • Malvasia Nera di Lecce
  • Negro Amaro
  • Primitivo
  • Uva di Troia
  • Verdeca

Valle D'Itria

  • Aleatico
  • Bianco d'Alessano
  • Bombino Bianco
  • Impigno
  • Malvasia Nera
  • Primitivo
  • Verdeca


 
 
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