Agricole Vallone Vereto Riserva 2008
The winery covers 420 acres and is made up of three different vineyards, Castel Serranova, Flaminio and Iore. All of the vineyards contain both newly-planted blocks as well as sections over 50 years old, especially of head-trained vines; this mixture ensures a balanced production and one of high quality. The vineyards are planted on well-drained calcareous- clayey soils, with low nutrient content. They are largely flat and sit below 300 feet above sea level.
The Salento lies wholly within the Mediterranean macroclimate, and its vineyards benefit from light rainfall in autumn and winter, and dry, windy summers. The prevailing winds off the sea, ensure healthy conditions for the fruit. Good diurnal thermal ranges between night and day encourage optimal ripening and an aromatic richness in the wines.
The main goal of the winery is to produce great wines from this terroir, that reflect the unique qualities of the indigenous varieties on the Salento peninsula. The Salento peninsula has always been prized for high quality and distinctive wines that are rich and complex. The wines are allowed to mature slowly in the cellars, in both oak and steel, before they are judged worthy to appear in their various markets. After bottling, they rest for still more time prior to being released.
Well-suited to the production of concentrated, fruity and spicy red varieties, Puglia is one of Italy’s warmest, most southerly regions. Its entire eastern side is one long coastline bordering the Adriatic Sea. About half way down, the region becomes the Salento Peninsula. This peninsula, bordered by water on three sides, receives moist, nighttime, sea breezes that bring a welcome cooling effect to the region, where little rain creates a challenging environment for its vines. In fact, the region is named for the Italian expression, “a pluvia,” meaning “lack of rain.”
Puglia’s Mediterranean climate and iron-rich, calcareous soils support the indigenous Primitivo, Negroamaro and Nero di Troia. Primitivo produces an inky, spicy, brambly and ripe red wine whose best expression comes from Manduria. Nero di Troia produces tannic, rustic reds from Castel del Monte DOC while Negroamaro, typically blended with Malvasia nera, plays a large part in may blends made throughout the peninsula.
Puglia produces a small amount of white wines as well, predominantly made of the fruity, Trebbiano Toscano, or light, Bombino bianco grapes.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.