Salice Salentino is one of Puglia’s most successful denominations and one of the first to gain wide recognition abroad. Produced in the commune of Salice Salentino and in other nearby areas between the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce, its physiognomy is similar to that of the entire Salento peninsula. The soils are diverse, with clay-limestone predominating, particularly in the interior areas; since they are quite deep, rich in organic material, and low in calcium carbonate, vineyards thrive here. In addition, in particularly dry years the soils retain groundwater reserves, and the vines are thus still able to yield high-quality wines. Quite often in the past, the reputation of the Salice Salentino denomination outstripped that of the main grape from which it was made, the Negroamaro. The most sought-after wine is made from Negroamaro, either alone or blended with Malvasia Nera. Less common are versions based on Aleatico, which can be fortified or sweet. The designation Riserva requires 24 months’ maturation, of which 6 must be in large oak ovals, although this is not required for Aleatico. White wines with no explicit listing of Chardonnay on the label must nevertheless contain at least 70% of that grape; if the label lists Fiano, Pinot Bianco, or, obviously, Chardonnay the minimum rises to 85% of the listed grape variety.
Categories: Rosso (red), Bianco (white), Rosato (rosé), Spumante (sparkling), Dolce (sweet), Liquoroso dolce (sweet fortified), Liquoroso Riserva (fortified reserve)