The most important element that increase the value of a terroir is man, that after centuries of work, modified rural landscape putting it at his service. Unique, in this sense, is the presence of Primitivo bush-trained, a cultivation system rare to find elsewhere. This is an hard and wasteful method, but the farmer of this lands is an enemy of compromises and shortcuts.
Stones, sun and men
Manduria is placed in the North of Salento near Murgia plateau and a few kilometres from Ionio beaches, characterized by Saracenic lookout towers. The soil where vineyards of Primitivo are planted is mainly composed of clay and limestone, with fossils and iron oxide, which give to this soil a natural red coloration. Red soils, like this one, are the best indicated for wine production, because the iron that compose it helps the drainage, avoiding stagnation after rainfalls.
In this area winter is mild and temperature is seldom cold. Summer, instead, is often hot and the light of sun is blinding and the thermometer overcomes easily 40°, especially in those days when sirocco winds from Africa blow. It rains rarely and it is also rare snow, in fact when it snows it is really for a short time.
Primitivo di Manduria
Red berry vine, it has this name because of his early maturation. The harvest of Primitivo di Manduria, in fact, starts at the end of august and ends in the first days of September. The grape is very sweet and the skin of its berry is thin.
His origins are uncertains and the documents owned by historians tell us that the first who chosen the cuttings has been a canonical of Gioia del Colle, Filippo Indelicati. From Gioia del Colle it come in Manduria thanks to a dowry and from that time it become the vine symbol of the city. Recently some scientists discovered, thanks to DNA exams, that this vine is strictly related with Californian Zinfandel and it has also a common origin with the Croat Plavac Mali.
Primitivo grapes have an high sugar valour, that allows to obtain wines of a good alcoholic gradation, with the fruit always at first place. Some vineyards in particular weather and environmental can produce splendid wines, which reach easily 17-18 degrees alcohol. This wines tolerate ageing very well, also in the Dolce Naturale version.
A unique vine, an extraordinary terroir
Primitivo di Manduria is a DOC from 1974 and, recently, has obtained from the government the achievement for the DOCG for the dolce naturale version.