February is the Italian Food, Wine and Travel group’s second month climbing Italy. I say climbing because we are working ourselves from the bottom of the boot to the Alps at the top. Our January Sicilian adventures with host Culinary Camilla (link) propelled us to Puglia (Apulia in Italian), the long and skinny heel of the boot, where our virtual exploration of all things #ItalianFWT continues. Yes, #weareinpuglia !
Location: The heel of the Italian boot in SE Italy between the Adriatic Ocean and Ionian Sea. It brushes up against two other wine regions, Basilicata and Campagnia.
Climate: Mediterranean. One of the warmest and driest regions of Italy. It’s hot in the summer months (region average is 70 – 90F+ ) with mild winters having periodic rain (50 – 70F). Know Puglia is a mild winter getaway!
Topography: Calcareous and undulating plateaus (the Gargano massif/mountain is the spur of the boot, and the Murge plateau located center and west), low hills, and broad, fertile plains. (Calcarious soils have a limestone origin.)
Water: Flanked by the Adriatic Ocean and the Ionian Sea.
Wine Production: In terms of volume, in the top three in Italy (Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Puglia).
Little known fact: Apulian rosato (rosé) is the benchmark for the rosé category in Italy. While it was commercially produced in bulk in the end of the 19th century, a handful of producers more recently transformed the category into a specialty of Salento.
A Cast of Grapes
Like all Italian wine regions, Puglia has dominant grape varieties. The most widely planted red are Sangiovese, Primitivo, Montepulciano, and Negro Amaro. On the white side, it’s the three Trebbiano (Toscano, Giallo and Abrussese), and Malvasia Bianca.
A host of other grape varieties are grown too:
- Red – Nero di Troia, Bombino Nero, Malvasia Nero di Brindisi/Lecce, Susumaniello and Ottavianello (Cinsault) and more.
- White – Bombino Bianco, Verdecca, Minutolo, Pampanuto, Bianco d’Alessano and more.
- International grapes account for less than 5% of what grows in Puglia.
Scattered throughout the region are four DOCGs (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), 28 DOCs (Denominazione di Origine Controllata), and six IGPs (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). The most common are Salice Salentino, Primitivo di Manduria, Puglia IGT and Salento IGT, yet you find a fantastic variety of non-mainstream wines with lesser known grapes in most of the others.
What to eat in Puglia
A land of fishermen and farmers, you cannot turn a corner without seeing vegetables, fruit, seafood, olive oil (40% of Italy’s production is made in Puglia), pasta and other wheat products, and cheese.
I know first hand the food is delicious, having visited Bari and environs a few years ago on a media trip.
Join the group in February! Here are details for participation:
Send an email to tell me you’re in: Include your blog url, and Twitter and any other social media handles. If you know your blog post title now include that, or see below. The email is lwg.mine [at] gmail [dot] com.
Send your post title to me by Saturday, January 28th, to be included in the preview post. I will do a preview post shortly after getting the titles, linking to your blogs. When your post goes live, the published title should include “#ItalianFWT”.
Publish your post anytime on Friday, February 3rd or Saturday, February 4th.
Include a link to the other #ItalianFWT participants in your post, and a description of what the event is about. I’ll provide the html code you can easily put in your initial post, which will link to people’s general blog url. Then, updated code for the permanent links to everyone’s #ItalianFWT posts will follow end of day February 4th.
Get social! We will not have a Twitter chat in February, so after the posts go live, please visit your fellow bloggers posts’ to comment and share.
Sponsored posts OK if clearly disclosed. Please be sure to disclose if your post is sponsored or if you are describing wine or other products for which you have received a free sample.
If you do not join, stop back for links to all #ItalianFWT group post articles!