Sussumaniello, originating probably in Dalmatia, is a native Puglia grape that has been grown for centuries, in the province of Brindisi above all, and more generally throughout the Salento. It has aroused more recent interest among researchers, producers, and wine consumers inasmuch as Sussumaniello, traditionally utilised as an excellent blending grape with other varieties--often with Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera, with which it is co-planted--, is proving that it can give impressive results as a monovarietal wine.
Known also as Somarello Nero, it owes its name to the heavy crop it bears during its first ten years, when its shoots are “as heavily-laden as a donkey (somaro)”; its crop then decreases dramatically in successive years. It presents a compact cluster with small or semi-large berries that oddly enough do not develop astringent tannins, so that the grapes can undergo slow, lengthy macerations. It is included in the Salento DOP.