Primitivo di Manduria
The grape variety from which these wines are made, is very traditional in this part of Italy – as it is in California, where it is known as Zinfandel. Manduria is Primitivo’s spiritual home and the only viticultural area in Italy to specialize in the variety. The variety’s naturally dark-skinned grapes produce inky, tannic wines of intense flavor and color. A certain bitterness is often found in Primitivo wines which, combined with its mouth-puckering tannins, means that they need a few years in either bottle or barrel before being approachable. The terroir here is typical of southern Puglia: hot, dry and with unremarkable coastal topography largely consisting of plains sloping very gently down to the sea. The vineyards here are ancient, and share the land with endless olive groves;
Greco di Tufo
a DOCG of the Campania wine region in southern It is responsible for what is arguably the region’s most prestigious white wine, made predominantly from the grape variety that shares its name. The vines from which Greco di Tufo wines are made are cultivated at altitude of 450–500m, where the cooler temperatures allow grapes to enjoy the persistent summer sunshine without overheating or having their photosynthesis shut down. This allows them to ripen without losing too much acidity, an effect magnified by the higher diurnal temperature variation here. The best expression of the Greco di Tufo vine is found on the volcanic hills of the Avellino province in central Campania, and only eight villages can legally claim to make Greco di Tufo: Tufo, Montefusco, Petruro Irpino, Chianche, Torrioni, Altavilla, Irpina and Prata di Principato Ultra. The appellation received its DOCG status in 2003. The wines must contain a minimum of 85% Greco di Tufo grapes, and up to 15% of Coda di Volpe Bianca grapes is also permitted, at the discretion of each winemaker. A sparkling Greco di Tufo spumante variant can also be made, and must be aged for at least three years prior to release. Greco di Tufo wines stand out from the crowd thanks to the unique characteristics of the sulfur- and tufa-rich volcanic and clay soils; it is believed that these lend the wine its perfume and mineral complexity. The refreshing, crisp white wines are known for their aromatic notes of lemons, pears and toasted almonds and a lingering mineral finish. The wines are generally at their best within three years of bottling).
is an ancient Italian white-wine grape, reportedly of Greek origin. Most Falanghina is grown in Campania, in southern Italy. The vines thrive in the porous volcanic soils around Mt. Vesuvius and the warm Mediterranean climate. The berries are yellow skinned and coated with a thin layer of protective wax. As a wine, Falanghina can have a slight pine scent, but is better known for its citrus blossom aromas, in particular bitter orange. On the palate it typically shows classic apple and pear flavors, depending on where it is grown, with spicy or mineral notes. Though it is increasingly fashionable, Falanghina isn’t yet planted much outside Campania. There is a little in Puglia and Abruzzo, but as yet no international production. Falanghina is often blended with other indigenous Italian varieties, or produced as a sweetpassito wine, but varietal expressions of this interesting grape are becoming more popular.