The area in Italy known as Puglia is prized for its olive oil, stunning coasts and charming villages but it has also been cultivating and producing delicious wines for centuries. The following five wineries combine superb wines with beautiful settings and a convivial atmosphere.
Surrounded by ancient olive trees and vineyards, Masseria Amastuola is a 15th century masseria (“farmhouse”) which was originally among the properties of Giovanni Antonio Orsini, Prince of Taranto. It has been beautifully renovated, incorporating the most up to date contemporary conveniences while retaining the charm and integrity of its original structure. The complex includes a hotel, a barrel cellar, a bookshop and a restaurant. The wines are organic, produced using techniques that respect the environment. Visitors can enjoy tasting packages as well as tours of the vineyards. To make your stay even more memorable, enjoy lunch or dinner at the Crispiano restaurant, which serves gourmet meals in a barrel-vaulted room.
Not far from San Donaci and Brindisi, you’ll find Cantine Paololeo. A family run operation since the early 20th century, this winery was established by Paolo Leo in 1989. Set among fields of olive trees and vineyards, visitors will find a welcoming tasting room where you are surrounded by the wooden casks where the wine is fermented. Although the family preserves traditional methods in making their wines, Paolo Leo has introduced modern techniques that enhance the production of the wine. The family is committed to sustainable practices which include organic approaches to cultivating, harvesting and bottling their wines. Their labels are printed on recyclable paper, they use metal not plastic for capsules, and they use recycled glass for their bottles. Paolo’s oldest son, Nicola, is the winemaker and he is making delicious wines among which are Primitivo and Negroamaro, two grapes that are indigenous to the region.
Located near Castel del Monte, Tormaresca Bocca di Lupois surrounded by fields of vineyards and the natural beauty of the Puglian landscape. The building was constructed with respect for the ancient Puglian building traditions using fortified stone and white brick walls. Indigenous grapes such as Aglianico, Nero di Troia and Fiano Pugliese thrive in this tough climate where thick fog and harsh winters contribute to the delicious quality of the grapes that go into the wines of Tormaresca. Like the other wineries mentioned here, they offer guided tours as well as wine tastings.
Tenute Rubino is another family winery. It was established in the early 1980’s by Tommaso Rubino and is now in the hands of his son, Luigi, and his wife, Romina. One of Luigi’s passions is to bring back an iconic grape called “Susumaniello,” which had fallen into obscurity due to the dramatic drop in yield as the vines aged. They also make wines from Aglianico, Nero di Troia, Fiano Puglia as well as other grape varieties. “Torre Testa” is their flagship wine.
The estate housing Vetreredates back to 1600. It has been owned by several families since that time and is now owned by the Bruni family, Enrico Bruni having inherited the estate in the early 1900’s. Two sisters, Annamaria and Francesca Bruni, are now in charge. They focus on respecting nature, using methods of production that are environmentally responsible. Primitivo, Negroamaro, Malvasia, and Minutolo are among the grapes harvested to make their wines.
All of these wineries require appointments for tasting and tours so be sure to plan ahead. Salute!
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