Primitivo is one of Italy's greatest grapes, particularly when produced with care on better soils with lower yields. Known as Zinfandel in the New World, in Italy it has an identity of its own. It is thought to have arrived in Puglia in the 18th century from across the Adriatic Sea via the Croatian coast. Its Italian name was derived from its early ripening nature. Monk and botanist, Don Francesco Filippo Indellicati, named the variety Primitivo from the Latin "primativus" or "first to ripen".
It is a grape that is rich in color though its skin is delicate and thin. At its most simple, it produces wines that are fruit-forward, fleshy and opulent with notes of ripe cherries, blackberries, sometimes fig and a whiff of black pepper. But at its most qualitative, it creates powerful, complex, savoury and age-worthy reds, which are amongst Italy’s best.
Located on the southern side of Puglia facing the Ionian Sea, the area around Manduria is one of the greatest zones for Primitivo. Renowned for its iron-rich soils of sand, silt, and clay over a volcanic/tuffa sub-soil, Manduria benefits from the sea's cool breezes, which often creates a temperate climate despite its southerly location.
The classification, Primitivo di Manduria DOP was created in 1974, making it one of Puglia's oldest. It includes around 900 hectares of vineyard land and requires the use of at least 85% of grapes grown in this DOP zone. Vinification, ageing and bottling must be done in this DOP zone as well.
Puglia is Primitivo's greatest spiritual home. Basking in its glorious sun with sea-kissed breezes, Primitivo has long been easy to ripen and grow, even at high yields. Following years of inexpensive bulk production, a turning point came in recent years when a number of passionate producers began focusing on quality, growing fruit at lower yields and using careful, thoughtful winemaking.
BEATO VINI is proud to be part of this movement and are committed to collectively raising the quality of Primitivo in Puglia.
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