Primitivo is an ancient grape whose roots are to be found in southern Italy, particularly in the Puglia region.
The studies done on this vine have brought its origins to what is now the Balkan Peninsula, so we are talking about Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania, and thanks to the Illyrians it probably arrived in Italy more than 2000 years ago. And its presence was consolidated by the Phoenicians who spread it throughout the Mediterranean area.
Even the Greeks, who at the time used to spread Hellenic wine everywhere, were unable to make it root in Puglia, as in this region there were already vines, called “merum vinum” precisely to indicate an undiluted wine and therefore well distinct from the Greek’s one which was sweetened with water, honey and vegetable resins.
An important person in the history of Primitivo was don Francesco Filippo Indellicati, a high official of the Roman Imperial Court in Puglia and expert in botanical practices and agronomy, who in the eighteenth century understood that this vine, among the many in his vineyards, had the characteristic of maturing in advance compared to the others, generating particularly colourful and fleshy fruits. Which is why it was renamed Primativus and from which it took the name it bears today.
In the following centuries, the Primitivo grape quickly spread throughout the Puglia region, in particular in Salento, manifesting itself best in the areas of Gioia del Colle and in Manduria, and in 1970 it was officially registered in the national list of vine varieties.
In 2001, following further investigations and thanks to the evolution of modern technologies, it was discovered that Primitivo was biologically the same as Zinfandel grown in the United States, in California, where it is currently one of the most popular grape varieties.
A demanding vine, particularly sensitive to hostile climates and moulds, characterized by generous bunches with particularly high sugar contents and with thick skins rich in anthocyanins that guarantee an intense colour to the wine. This grape, always covered with bloom which has the task of protecting it from ultraviolet rays and exaggerated dehydration, finds in Puglia the ideal environment to achieve excellent quality.
Two DOC’s have been recognized in this region, one in Gioia del Colle and the other in Manduria, while the cultivation of Primitivo, which is traditionally farmed in “goblet” or “bush” style and “un-grafted “, is authorized only in some regions of the central and southern Italy, such as Umbria, Abruzzo, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata and Sardinia.
An excellent wine with unmistakable characteristics is obtained from this grape variety which, according to evolution, may be ruby red; purple to garnet red, often impenetrable and with an enviable consistency.
Intense aromas of plum, blackberry, black wild cherry, violet, in addition to the typical spicy notes of cinnamon, black pepper, liquorice, cocoa, tobacco. A wine of excellent structure, with an important alcohol content and charming softness, well balanced with a balanced acidity and flavour, as well as impressive tannins. To be combined with dishes of equivalent structure and at a temperature between 16 to 20 degrees Celsius depending on the maturation.