The Puglia region of Italy, which is more commonly known as Apulia outside of Italy, is perhaps one of the richest winemaking areas in the entire country. Located to the south of the country, the southernmost tip of the area makes up the famed “high heel” of the boot shape that Italy is known for.
Its capital city of Bari is one of the hidden gems of Italy when it comes to tourist destinations, however the area is capable of producing so much more than the odd area for visiting. It also produces some of the best Italian wines around, many of which are vintages that the average international buyer may not even be fully aware of.
With the advent of online shopping these wines are now more readily available than they have ever been for shoppers so we thought it would be a good idea to introduce people to some of the best vintages to emerge from the region and hopefully help a few people discover some more Italian wines that will become fast favourites and will provide plenty of joy in their consumption.
Produced by a winemaker that has only been in operation for a little over a decade, the Polvanera 17 Primitivo Gioia del colle aims to bring the consumers attention may squarely on the Primitivo grape that the wine is based on.
After sharing a rich heritage in farming and agriculture with his family, Filippo Cassano decided that the next step forward for his working life would be to create a brand new wine that uses the Primitivo grapes that the rural area of Marchesana is known for.
With this philosophy he embarked on a quest to create a wine that was worthy of bearing the name and, in 2003, finally succeeded with the Polvanera 17 Primitivo Gioia del colle, which has fast become a favourite amongst Italian wine fans and we believe is soon going to increase in popularity in international territories.
In actual fact, wines have been made from the grape for more than a century in the region. Some of the older bushes used in its production even date back to the 1800s! This local delicacy has been enjoyed for many a year as a result, which means that the people in the region obviously know a little bit more about it than we do. Finally people from outside of the Marchesana region can enjoy this wine thanks both to the efforts of Filippo Cassano and the online shops that are ensuring that Italian wines can spread beyond their traditional cultural boundaries and into areas that had previously not been able to experience them.
Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about the Primitivo grape that is used both in this and our previously highlighted wine is the fact that the grape is very similar to the Zinfandel that has attained a lot more popularity over the course of time.
In fact many would argue that the grapes are actually one and the same and it can’t be disputed that Primitivo wines often bear a striking resemblance to those that have been created using the Zinfandel.
While some may see this as a critique, it also must be mentioned that because of this the Tenute Rubino primitivo Salento will have a very familiar taste to Zinfandel fans, which in turn is always going to help to bolster its popularity amongst drinkers of that particular wine while also ensuring that more people are willing to give it a try and find out for themselves if it is something that is worth adding to their collection.
Much like Filippo Cassano’s endeavours, the Tenute Rubino primitivo Salento has been created by a fairly new winemaker that is aiming to increase the popularity of the region and ensure that it becomes recognised for the quality of wine that it can produced.
The Rubino family first began working on their farm in the mid-1980s and since then they have managed to acquire and cultivate a production base that numbers around 500 hectares. Of this the family has dedicated at least 200 hectares to the production of wine, which is something of a passion within the family.
This vision was further by Luigi Rubino, who continued his father’s work on the farmland and has refocused the family’s vision so that it can concentrate on producing some of the highest quality wines in the region. His effort have been rewarded with the Tenute Rubino, which some say somewhat defies traditional classification between red and white and is instead a wine entirely of its own making.
Since the early 2000s the wine has garnered quite a high level of popularity thanks to this rather unique distinction, though many will argue that the wine will be reminiscent of a good Zinfandel. It is for these reasons and many others that we believe more and more people should embrace the products created by this new generation of winemakers.
The upcoming years certainly look bright for both producers. Their wines are quickly gaining in popularity, thanks in large part to their quality and the use of differing techniques in their production.
Perhaps just as important is the increasing influence of online shopping. Now, more than ever before, people from all over the world are able to explore the history and tradition of Italian winemaking, allowing them to find vintages that would never have otherwise been available to them and ensuring that the industry has become one of the fastest growing in Italy at the current time.
What is perhaps most important during this new era is to give credit where it is due to this new breed of Italian winemaker. While people will always, and understandably, be attracted to wines with more history and heritage behind them, it is only through continued support that new blends such as those featured here can continue to increase in popularity. They certainly have the quality and with the Cassano and Rubino families they also have all of the passion required.