Did you know that wine in Italy is produced in every region of the country, even in the “heel” of the famous boot, Apulia?
Apulian viticulture has very ancient origins, which date back to over 2000 years BC! Today Puglia is second only to Tuscany for the quantity of prestigious wines produced, and yet many know so little about these wines! Today Cantina Sociale Luca Gentile shines some light on the wine variety of the Apulian wines in the American wine industry. In 1960, in the area close to the Murgia of Bari, a group of 25 farmers and wine growers, coordinated by Luca Gentile (to whom the Cantina Sociale is dedicated), decided to join a cooperative in order to enhance the local grapes. Today, the Cantina has reached about 400 members, who give about 13 million pounds of grapes annually.
But what kind of wine is it? What makes it special? It is a unique wine for its genesis. When producers talk about wine they talk about how important it is to have quality grapes, but almost no one analyzes these grapes to understand their potential. Wine is all about chemistry. If the grapes are able to create wines of high quality based on the soil characteristics and chemical-physical characteristics, then during the fermentation process the winery needs to work on enhancing these characteristics.
“The wine is the result of years of hard work, which gave us the management of the ripening curves of 30 hectares of some vineyards grown with different vines. For each of these vineyards we have carried out the ripening curves by periodically measuring the chemical-physical characteristics of the grapes, to establish the exact moment of harvest but above all to determine from the vineyard which grapes can reach different oenological objectives based on their potential.” Says Vincenzo Gentile, the President of the winery.
So, it is not only the fact that Apulia has excellent fertile soil to harvest and an ideal sunny climate. It is the passion and collaboration of hundreds of farmers who exchange their techniques and work together towards the creation of the best possible wine that grapes could potentially produce. The hard work does not go unnoticed. Cantina Gentile has received numerous awards over the years for quality wine. Recently, in one of the more important European wine contests the 100 Acini 2018, received 3rd best Italian red wine of 2020 along with a Silver medal from the German Berliner Wein Trophy.
When you go through the Cantina’s catalog all kinds of wines catch the eye. Intense ruby reds with purple reflections, deep light rose colors like a Bordeaux Clairet and soft, fresh whites all call for a sip. The aromas are strong and complex, with fruity notes of blackberry, plum and cherry, spicy hints of vanilla. When tasting them there is an excellent balance between the pseudo-caloric sensation and acidity. The reds are perfect with structured dishes, with red meats, medium and long-aged cheeses; while the whites find great harmony with a fish soup, risotto with pumpkin and a platter of cold cuts.
If you didn’t yet fall in love with Apulian wine, then you need to taste the centennial techniques behind the raw work of the farmers of the Murgia Hills.
About the Author: Ginevra Cerreto is a Milan native and recently a Dallas Fort Worth resident. Ms. Cerreto has a passion for wine due to her Italian roots that brought her close to the industry. She also has a passion for tourism, she in fact works as a brand ambassador for ScuolaZoo where she has given tours of cities in Czech Republic, Spain and most recently Greece.
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