The cultivation of vines in Puglia dates to the Phoenician era. Although it was the Romans who were the first to appreciate Apulian wines. So much so that the Poet Orazio compared them to Falerno, then considered the best among the wines in circulation. In the following centuries other testimonies mark the historical evolution of Apulian wines until the arch enemy of the vine, phylloxera, determined the almost total extermination of the vineyards.
However, the productive and economic disaster was not completely negative; as it led to qualitative changes in the production system, and the reimagining of the vineyards. In part, the production blended wines; hence the introduction of Negroamaro and Primitivo.
The success was so great and widespread that even today these vines put Puglia on the map in the world of wines.
DOC and DOCG wines from Puglia
A great determiner of a notable wine is when it is given DOC or DOCG status, meaning that it comes from controlled sources and production methods. DOCG takes it a step further with the ‘G’ denoting guaranteed quality. Puglia is home to many vines carrying this label. Although that’s not to say that only wines with this label boast high quality, it is just an added seal of approval which considers many factors. The wine-searcher explains Italian wine classifications well if you are interested to learn more.
Here are some places we recommend visiting if you are a wine enthusiast, or curious about Italian wines from different regions.
Castel del Monte Nero and more in Bari
Nero di Troia perhaps is best represented in the province of Bari. The Riserva version gives rise to the DOCG Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva. Not to mention the new DOCG Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva and Bombino Nero. Aglianico knows grows well in these areas, together with the most popular international grape varieties. In the DOC Gravina, Locorotondo and Martinafranca, thick whites are then produced, using verdeca, bianco d’Alessano and long white Malvasia.
Negroamaro and Primitivo in Salento
On the Salento peninsula, the most common vines are the Negroamaro and Primitivo locales, with which powerful wines are obtained. They are also suitable for medium-long aging thanks to the marked tannins and powerful structure, accompanied by a firm acid vein.
In addition to these, the black Malvasia of Brindisi should not be forgotten. Primitivo di Manduria, in the Dolce Naturale version, obtained the fourth DOCG of the region. Puglia is therefore one of the Italian regions that is currently experiencing more than others a strong wine revolution, which in a short time has brought it to the top of world wine production.
Sangiovesi, Montepulciano and more in Foggia
In the northern province of Foggia, the most common vines are Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Black Bombino, Tuscan Trebbiano and White Bombino. The native black of Troy should not be forgotten, with which powerful, warm and enveloping wines are produced. The DOCs of this area are San Severo and Cerignola.
If you are interested in sipping your way around the wineries of Puglia, Classic Puglia can design you a tour around the theme of food and wine. Or you might like our predesigned itinerary, Unforgettable Puglia which includes a Primativo and Negroamaro wine tour departing from Lecce.