Masseria Altemura, Puglia
Masseria Altemura lies deep in the Puglian countryside, in the heart of the Salento Peninsula, an area saturated with Mediterranean character.
In purchasing the estate, Gianni Zonin spotted the potential for contributing to the renaissance of wine production in Puglia and set about the long process of refurbishing the land and the buildings that now represent the estate’s headquarters. The total area of the property is over 300 hectares – of which 130 (soon to become 150) are vineyards and 40 consist of olive groves – thus ensuring substantial annual production. It is a single holding, restored with total respect for the environment and the original architecture and it now represents one of the flagship estates in Puglian agriculture.
The production process is coordinated with the utmost diligence and long-sightedness by the Zonin family and overseen by winemaker Stefano Ferrante, agronomist Carlo De Biasi and the Agronomical Director of Masseria Altemura, Antonio Cavallo. The family’s objective is to achieve the very best quality and with this in mind, has begun carrying out experimentation in cooperation with noted academics (both within and outside of Italy) such as Professors Attilio Scienza and Denis Dubourdieu, researching clonal selection and evaluating the optimum conditions for the relationship that exists between the vines and the soil.
Masseria Altemura places great emphasis on the use of local resources and renewable forms of energy and whilst the production process is in line with tradition in its use of natural methods, all of this is achieved using state of the art technology. The new, solar energy-powered winery covers a huge area of two thousand square metres and has an overall capacity of ten thousand hectolitres. However, the modern facility has been designed very sympathetically in order to preserve the architectural characteristics of this area of Puglia through its use of natural materials.
Vinification of the red grapes takes place according to modern precepts, but with an eye to Puglian tradition. Long macerations are carried out in order to extract all of the nuances that the excellent soils of the Salento have always offered and in the ageing cellar the red wines mature in silence in precious 60-hectolitre Slavonian oak casks and in 350-litre tonneaux made of Allier oak from France.
The majority of the estate is given over to the Primitivo grape – so important to Puglian wine production – but it was their plantings of the indigenous Negroamaro that caught our attention. This is a name which causes some confusion as it is often thought to mean “bitter black” from the Italian negro and amaro but, in reality, it is most likely to be “black black” from the Latin and Greek words for black: negro and maru. Certainly, tasting wines like this one, there is no bitterness at all, more sweet, juicy, succulent black fruits with a light tannic twist, layered and hugely satisfying crying out for a feast of the famed Puglian antipasti.
You can buy this wine here and for more information, please contact Laura Taylor on 01353 977 997.