“Cantina Aperta!” A beginners notes on Wine Production
There is a wonderful day here in Puglia where the majority of the Cantina’s are open to the public for wine tasting and tours. A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to learn a little bit about the famous wine production of Puglia as part of “Cantina Aperta”. A fair warning to you all, I am no wine connoisseur, this is a post about wine for beginners!
Cantina, refers to the facility where wine is produced. We all know Italy is famous not only for its food and olive oil, but also for its wine. However, most people tend to think of Italy as a whole entity, when in fact everything from culture to cuisine varies greatly region by region. This is also true of wine production. Puglia has a rich history in wine production dating back 2,000 years. Vineyards, and Olive trees cover the the land of Italy’s heel and stretch on for miles.
Recently the region of Puglia has diversified and distinguished itself in terms of wine production. In the last 20 years there has been a shift from quantity, where most of the wine produced here was sent north to be blended with more famous or well known wines, to quality, with wine producers focusing on perfecting specific types of wines unique to this region.
The most well known types of wine out of Puglia are the “Primitivo” and the “Negroamaro” each named for the specific grape from which they are produced.
Organic wines are gaining popularity in North America, however here in Puglia they are easily accessible, with most cantina’s producing a selection of both organic and regular wines. Organic wines are preferred because for one thing, they don’t leave you with a headache the next morning, and this is because they are produced without chemicals. Regular wine is produced in giant metal vats where you can control for temperature and other variables which affect taste, while organic wines are left to ferment in wooden barrels. With organic wine, even the wood of the barrel affects the taste, but the only real variable anyone can control for is the amount of time the wine is left untouched.
For anyone who has an interest in, or love of wine, Puglia is certainly the place to be!
Ciao for Now!