Castello Monaci stands out in the heart of the Salice Salentino DOC, which is located in Puglia, a region along the Adriatic in the “heel of the boot” of farthest southeast Italy. The production of Castello Monaci’s estate wines is carefully followed from the vineyards to the winery and into the bottle. The estate is dedicated to their sustainable philosophy and is one of a small number of Italian estates to have their sustainability certified by DNV-GL, a globally recognized firm. Even Castello Monaci’s packaging is eco-friendly, carrying the Environmental Management System Certificate logo. Castello Monaci is a benchmark producer crafting wines from Southern Italy’s indigenous grapes: Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera. The region of Puglia is drenched in the most intense sunlight in all of Italy tempered only by the Adriatic and Ionian seas which provide con¬stant, cooling maritime winds. This unique climate helps produce exquisitely balanced fruit. The Castello Monaci estate is housed in a 16th century castle with medieval foundations once run by Basilian monks who maintained a long wine¬making tradition. Lina Memmo, whose family has owned the estate since the 19th century, and husband Vitantonio Seracca Guerrieri, currently own the property. Each vineyard parcel is cultivated, harvested—always at night to unsure the best quality of grapes—and vinified separately in small tanks. The area dedicated to aging wines is a spectacular barrel cellar dug out of the hard rock that houses 1,000 barriques and 18 French oak barrels. Castello Monaci’s cellars are surrounded by over 350 acres of vineyards, including old vine Negroamaro and Primitivo. In addition, they have expanded their estate with holdings near Brindisi planted with white varietals. Vitantonio Seracca Guerrieri, president of the estate, who for years has experimented with selections to enhance the native vines of Salento, supervises the work in the vineyards personally.
Italian White Wine
The rolling hills and endless coastlines of Italy deliver a unique diversity of soils and climate to foster a number of regional specialties. With a multitude of indigenous varieties that thrive exclusively here, the selection of white wines offers a range of styles and flavors.
The most well-known white variety in Italy is of course Pinot Grigio. Typically found in the northern Italian regions, the light, fresh and easy-drinking options can be found in the Veneto region, while the richer, more complex styles come from Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige. These two northeast regions are also crafting delicions Pinot Bianco and a regional specialty, Friulano.
In Piedmont, two white regions shine. The crisp and zippy Gavi, made with a Cortese grape, and Arneis, a variety that produces a subtle by dry wine. In the Veneto, the Garganegna grape creates the wine of Soave, a zesty but medium-bodied wine full of rich stone fruit and floral notes.
Further south, you'll find the pretty and floral Falenghina, rich and tropical Grillo and zesty Greco. Head to Sicily to discover the delicious and complex Etna Biancos, made with the Carricante grape in the island's volcanic soils.