Magna Grecia: Colline Joniche Tarantine

One of the most recently approved DOPs, approved in 2008, is the Colline Joniche Tarantine, or Ionian-Taranto Hills, which extends along the upper, or northern, border of the Ionian Arch (Arco Jonico), the strip that runs from the coast to the hills to the north, bordered by the province of Taranto and by those of Bari and Brindisi. This production area is easily recognisable, since there is a sudden rise in elevation, and above 300 metres one encounters a rolling plateau composed of large and small hills, all facing south towards the Ionian Sea--hence the name Colline Joniche. The vineyards are planted mainly at an average elevation of 190-200 metres. The production code specifies a wide range of denomination wines. The whites are largely made from Chardonnay and Verdeca, the reds and rosés from Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. The term Superiore is used for a higher required minimum alcohol, while Riserva wines require 30 months’ maturation, of which 12 must be in large oak ovals.

Categories: Rosso (red), Bianco (white), Rosato (rosé), Spumante (sparkling), Superiore (superior), Liquoroso Secco (dry fortified), Liquoroso vino dolce naturale (naturally-sweet fortified), Novello (nouveau).

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