Along with the Castel del Monte DOP in northern Puglia and the Salice Salentino DOP in the south, the Primitivo di Manduria DOP is one of Puglia’s best-known denominations world-wide. The denomination wine is produced in the heart of Puglia’s Magna Grecia region, in various communes in the province of Taranto, among them the best-known town, Manduria, which gave its name to the entire denomination. The growing area is characterised by two types of landscape, both fairly flat, the Arco Jonico (the Ionian Arch) and the Salento peninsula. The Arco Jonico, lying largely on the coast west of Taranto, enjoys a Mediterranean climate with fairly mild winters, averaging 6-7°C minimum temperatures, and hot summers, reaching average maximums of 25-26°C. Rainfall, around 650mm per year, is mostly in the winter. The Salento, or Salentine peninsula, extends into the sea and thus experiences a moister climate than the former, although that does not mean more rainfall. Soil studies reveal that deep clay-loam soils predominate in the western section of the growing area; they become sandier and shallower as one proceeds southwards along the coast, thus hindering deep penetration by vine roots. More to the west, shallower and deeper soils alternate, most with medium texture and good drainage, and sandy clays. The production code specifies the use of 85% Primitivo, with 15% allowed of other non-aromatic red varieties.
Because of Primitivo’s characteristic of accumulating significant levels of sugar during ripening, the wine cannot have less than 13.5% finished alcohol, which rises to 14% for the Riserva version, which in addition must receive 24 months’ maturation, of which 9 months in oak.
Categories: Rosso (red), Riserva (reserve).