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Puglia Wine Regions

Big and bold reds are the prevalent typology. However, the region offers a few alternatives for those seeking lighter styles, including a wide variety of rosè wines. Depending on the winemaking style, these wines range from light and crisp – with only a tad more structure and color than Provence rosè – to fuller, darker-colored and slightly tannic, especially when produced with the bleeding technique. Salento is the traditional production area for Puglia Rosato but the sheer success of the category has incentivized producers from other areas to include at least one rosè in their portfolio.

White wines from Puglia used to be underwhelming but those from Valle d’Itria, one of the region’s highest elevation areas, have improved consistently over the last decade. They are zesty, bright, and immediately-pleasing with saline touches and herbal flavors complementing the medium to high acidity.

Which are the main wine-growing areas in Puglia? 

  • Manduria:the key denomination for Primitivo in the province of Taranto. Vineyards stretch towards the Ionian coast, lying on sandy and clay-rich soils and benefiting from one of the warmest and driest climates in the region. The oldest vines are alberello-trained. The wines are mostly dry but some producers also make Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale, a DOCG sweet wine from withered grapes
  • Salento: the Salento DOC covers the entire Salento peninsula, and allows the production of red, white, and rosè wines. The peninsula houses smaller communal appellations like Squinzano, Leverano, and Copertino, all of which are devoted to the Negroamaro grape.
  • Salice Salentino: the most renowned DOC in Salento, extending around the namesake town. It mainly produces Negroamaro-based red wines (with dollops of Malvasia Nera) but also allows the production of whites from Fiano, Pinot Bianco, or Chardonnay grapes.
  • Gioia del Colle: in central Puglia, the Gioia del Colle area is characterized by high elevations and limestone-rich shaping peculiar expressions of Primitivo: considerably lighter and higher-acid than Primitivo di Manduria. Most wineries in the area are small to medium-size, and many of them follow a low-intervention approach.
  • Castel del Monte: the most important wine-growing area in Northern Puglia, it proved fertile ground for experimentation, with a mix of native and international grapes planted on moderately fertile soils, and the cooler climate by regional standards allowing to achieve excellent refinement. Nero di Troia, Aglianico, Bombino Nero, Bombino Bianco, and Chardonnay are the most widespread grapes.
  • Valle d’Itria: because of its hilly profile and karst limestone formations, the land of “trulli” in the south of the Murge plateau is the optimal place for growing white grapes and producing still whites – either single-varietal Verdeca or a field blend of native white grapes.
  • San Severo: in the north of the region, the San Severo area is a quality production enclave in an ocean of vineyards mostly giving bulk wine. Bombino Bianco is the local star – together with  Montepulciano and Pinot Noir, it gives some of the most attractive – if still little-known – Metodo Classico (bottle-fermented) sparkling wines in Italy.
Puglia Wines in a Nutshell
  • Hectares under vine: 71,377
  • Total production: 10.85 million hl  
  • Percentage of DOC wines:
  • Vineyard altitude:
  • Number of DOCGs:
  • Annual rainfall: 450 - 800 mm 

puglia

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