The Vineyards and the Grapes.

The vineyards

The vineyards extend over an area of about 15 hectares, between the villages of Maruggio and Manduria, in the most suitable terroir for growing some of the most popular local red grape varieties such as Primitivo, Negroamaro, and Malvasia Nera.
In addition to the plants already existing at the time of the takeover of the estate (Negroamaro and Malvasia placed in front of the Masseria and dating back to the Sixties, Primitivo dating back to the Seventies and located in the area of Manduria, a few km from the estate), in 2003 new investments were done in terms of quality-oriented new training techniques. A remarkable result has been obtained with an experimental cultivation of Aglianico where over 200 different clones of this very ancient grape were bedded and are constantly monitored.

The grapes

Puglia is very rich in noble local grape varieties, some of which come from Ancient Greece.
Land of ancient vine growing and wine making tradition, the Ionian area identify itself with one grape variety:

Primitivo

Is the most outstanding element of the ancestral link between the man and this land. It originally came from Dalmatia, imported by the Illyrians over two thousand years ago, it shares the same DNA with the Californian Zinfandel.
Highly praised in Virgil’s and Horace’s odes, the Primitivo is the most direct heir of the ancient “merum” peucedanum, it is the historical wine par excellence of Puglia: Pliny the Elder himself defined Manduria, the capital of this wine, a “viticulosa” city, meaning city “full of vines”.
The cultivation of this species of vine has experienced alternating phases: from the decadence which started with the Romans and continued throughout the Middle Ages, to the 18th century rebirth, thanks to a monk from Gioia del Colle (BARI), don Francesco Indellicati.
He observed that, among the species of vine that were commonly cultivated, one ripened earlier than the others and it would produce a grape that was particularly black, sweet and tasty which could already be harvested at the end of August. By selecting that particular plant he created the first monoculture of “Primitivo” whose name means “primitive” because of the early ripening.
From the Murge hills, where Gioa del Colle is located, the Primitivo moved down to the plains of Taranto area and to the Ionian coasts, where it took root very well, finding a favorable habitat for its growing and for the improvement of the selected quality. Here the wine turned out being more alcoholic, more full-bodied and more red-violet in color than in other places so much that the French purchased it when around the end of 1880 the phylloxera destroyed all of the Roussillon vineyards. This is why the Primitivo has been labeled as blending wine and sold bulk for over a century, and it still is, even after it was awarded in 1974 with the Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC).
During the last years Primitivo has become, together with Negroamaro, the protagonist of the rebirth of Apulian vine growing and wine making, also because of the important changes in vine training techniques and in vinification methods.
According to the production disciplinary of Primitivo di Manduria DOC, the certified areas of cultivation of this variety are: Manduria, Sava, Torricella, Maruggio, Avetrana, Carosino, Monteparano, Leporano, Pulsano, Faggiano, Roccaforzata, San Giorgio Ionico, San Marzano di S. Giuseppe, Fragagnano, Lizzano, and also Erchie and Torre S. Susanna, in the province of Brindisi.

Negroamaro

Negroamaro is the species of grapes that is the symbol of south Salento area, where it mostly is grown with the traditional single- vine training system (called “alberello” small tree)and it is the main component of the major DOC blends of the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce, being also very widespread in the IGT wines of the Ionian area.
It is a red variety with grape bunches of a black-reddish color, which ripens between the end of September and early October. An eclectic species of vine, scarcely productive, it gives a touch of lightness and of elegance to Apulian red wines. It is often blended with Malvasia Nera in order to muffle the somewhat bitter note which stands out and which is the reason why it is called Negroamaro that means black-bitter.

La Malvasia nera

a red grape variety with average size clusters, black-violet grapes and sweetish taste. It ripens between the end of September and early October.
It gives origin to a wine of an intense red color, with violet shades, it can be used in the production of natural sweet wines or raisin wines (dessert wines). It belongs to the big family of the Malvasia grapes of Greek origin, brought in Europe by Venetian merchants in 13th century.

Aglianico

Aglianico is a very ancient species of vine cultivated in Southern Italy and particularly in Campania, Basilicata and Puglia, it was brought in Italy by the Greeks in the 8th Century B.C., its name derives from the transformation of the word Hellenic or Hellanic, which came about under the Spanish domination, around 1500.
Registered among the varieties suitable for cultivation in all Apulian provinces, it is a species of vine characterized by late sprouting and late ripening (around the second decade of October).
The wine produced from this variety is ruby red in color with garnet shades and a delicate bouquet, rich in extract, alcoholic and with a good tannin, particularly suitable for aging, and right for its longevity it is called the Barolo of the south.