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Salice Salentino

You would expect wines with names like Nardó, Locorotondo, Squinzano, and Lizzano to be as authentic as they could get. Wine with such Italian sounding names come from the area of Puglia, Italy. Puglia, or Apulia as it is called here in the United States is the heal of Italy's boot shaped landmass.

Puglia is known for its warm weather, expansive iron rich plains, and ancient olive trees. For decades this area has focused on growing grapes for bulk wine production and distilleries under a socialist, then later cooperative arrangement. Although the bulk growing still persists, more and more growers are finding a niche for their wines in the global market.

The most widely planted red grape in Puglia is Negroamaro, whose name means dark and bitter. Negroamaro is a thick skinned grape that adds deep color, tannins, and hints of black licorice to a wine. Malvasia nera, uva di troia, and primativo (also known as zinfandel) are the other prominent red grapes growing in this region. The late Cosimo Taurino was a pioneer in the creation of negroamaro blends. Taurino Salice Salentino is an 85% negroamaro, 15% malvasia nera blend from the Salentino area of Puglia.

Italy is known for its obscure and exotic indigenous grapes. Many of these varieties will not flourish anywhere else, but in their homeland, the sunny Mediterranean vineyards of Italy. Salice Salentino is a perfect example of Italian style and is the ideal pair to hearty foods, cheeses, and red pasta sauces. Wines from Puglia offer a spicy, brambly, berry-hued, and extraordinary experience.

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