Finding The Pretty From Puglia

Puglia, subtle rolling hills, fertile plains with lots of sunshine, pretty.  Puglia, surounded by The Ionian and Adriatic Seas, very pretty indeed.  Puglia gave us the calzone, the pretty pasta shape of orecchiette and the pretty looking tarantula.

What’s not so pretty about Puglia is its mass production of wine.  Tied with Sicily for bulk output of grape juice, Puglia has long supplied the rest of Italy (and the rest of the world) with cheap, forgettable table swill.  Wine from Puglia is frequently used to thicken up wines from other regions and is also a base ingredient for many vermouths produced in the northern city of Turin.  Commercial wines from Puglia can taste roasted and oxidized, dirty and alcoholic.

Grower-producer wines can be pretty though.  There are people that make distinct and balanced wines from grapes that they grow themselves  from vineyards passed down through generations.  Wines that are a thoughtful celebration of Puglia’s hotter than Africa climate.


Azienda Agricola Pasquale Petrera di Orfino Rosa is a pretty wine estate that produces pretty wines.

Big, rich, spicy and fragrant you would never believe that the pretty Fatalone wines have a sinister alcohol content…

2007 Azienda Agricola Pasquale Petrera “Fatalone” Gioia del Colle Primitivo.  $17. Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  A slick, high octane, dark fruit attack that is perfectly balanced by a refreshing dose of minerality.  Aged for 18 months before release.  Drink it with roasted meats, spicy pasta dishes and aged cheeses.

2009 Azienda Agricola Pasquale Petrera “Fatalone” I.G.T. Terres Primitivo.  $15. Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  From free run juice that is fermented in contact with the grape skins for only 30 hours, this wine is light and lively.  Almost rose in color but structured and spicy.  This is a perfect pizza wine.  Serve it slightly chilled.


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