At Vacation in Puglia, our guests are often keen to learn about Puglia wines and get a taste of them during their holiday. Compared to wines from Italy’s other famous regions such as Tuscany or Piedmont, Puglia’s wines are not as well-known abroad. In fact, our holiday rental guests are often surprised to learn that Puglia has historically always produced a large quantity of wine (1st or 2nd in Italy volume-wise). In fact, this southeasternmost region of Italy is widely acclaimed for offering the best value for money wines in the country.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF PUGLIA WINES
Ancient Greek settlers brought grape vines with them to Puglia, and jump-started the wine production until it was taken over by the next ruler, the Romans. They introduced advanced wine making techniques and standardised production. The ideal growing condition with sunny climate and long growing season and the diversity of soil in Puglia allowed it to become one of the biggest producers of wine in Italy from then on. In the past, most of the production went to produce bulk wines for local consumption and export to Northern Italy and even to France. However, in the past few decades Puglia wines have benefited from a huge leap in quality thanks to the use of modern winegrowing and winemaking techniques and a newfound appreciation for indigenous varietals of grapes. All these factors have enabled Puglia wines to offer some of the most exciting and the best value wines in Italy.
WHICH WINES ARE PRODUCED IN PUGLIA?
Puglia Red Wines
Puglia, like other Italian regions, also benefits from a wide diversity of native grapes that vary from north to south of the elongated region. Given the scorching summer and the long growing season, it is not surprising that the majority of Puglia’s wines are red with a few pockets of traditionally white wine growing areas. Primitivo (Zinfandel) and Negroamaro grapes are the go to grapes for the most famous Puglia red wines, and they constitute the bulk of production in the southern part of Puglia. Further north near the capital city of Bari, Bombino Nero, Nero di Troia and even Sangiovese based wines are widely produced. Nero di Troia is the main grape used in the production of Castel del Monte DOCG, one of the most prestigious appellations in Puglia, and produced around the famous XII century castle.
Puglia White Wines
For quality white wine, look no further than Valle d’Itria (Itria Valley). In the past, this hilly wine growing area in the centre of Puglia region exported all of its white wine production for the production of vermouth. It is now the main white wine producing area of Puglia, and is the home of the well-regarded Locorotondo DOC and Martina Franca DOC. The majority of white grape varietals used in the Valle d’Itria are autochtonous, such as Verdeca, Bianco d’Alessio and Minutolo.
Puglia Rosé Wines
Finally, let’s talk about the rosé (or rosato in Italian). Puglia was the first region in Italy that produced rosato wines. It now boasts high quality, very diverse styles of rose wines to please any rosé wine lover. Puglia rosato can be found in different shades; from the palest of pink to the more traditional deep cherry hue. Negroamaro, Primitivo, and Bombino Nero are the grapes most often used.
Ostuni, where Vacation in Puglia’s holiday home rentals are situated, is a perfect base to easily visit all these wine-making areas as a fun day trip.
HOW TO PAIR PUGLIA WINES WITH FOOD?
The dry, full-bodied red wines of Puglia pair exceptionally well with the rustic dishes of the region. Try them with the famous grilled meats from the cute town of Cisternino, near Alberobello or orecchiette pasta in meat sauce from the Salento region with a local Negroamaro. On the other hand, its crisp, minerally white wines are perfect to serve with Puglia’s unbelievably fresh and cooked or raw seafood like the delicate and sweet prawns of Gallipoli. If you prefer to drink something pink with your meals, any of Puglia’s rosato works wonders with both the fresh juicy mozzarella and creamy burrata cheeses or the morish pizza-like regional bread called focaccia.
CURIOUS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PUGLIA WINES?
Feel free to contact us to learn more about the best wines and the top wineries in Puglia before or during your stay with Vacation in Puglia. We can also help you organise private or group winery tours and wine tasting. Our host Daniel is a certified sommelier, and he loves giving out advice and recommendations . Guests with an existing booking can contact him directly to organise a winery tour.
Online, the Wines of Puglia is a good source to get more in depth knowledge about Puglia wines and wineries. While in Puglia, don’t miss out the open door winery visits organised throughout the year by the Movimento Turismo del Vino Puglia.