Today we had the pleasure of attending a special event to discuss options for promoting wine, food and cultural tourism in and around Manduria. The event was hosted by Cantina Produttori Vini a Manduria and provided a great opportunity to meet other people promoting this region and to discuss ideas / potential collaborations. We certainly left feeling inspired and full of thought about future possibilities!
As part of the event we were able to sample some of the offerings for visitors to the Cantina including; a tour of the cantina to understand the processes they follow to turn grapes into wine; a visit to the Museo della Civilta del Vino Primitivo; a delicious five-course lunch of traditional Pugliese dishes accompanied by some of the cantina’s fantastic wines and a choice of afternoon guided tours in and around the town.
The list of wines produced by the cantina is very impressive and covers the main traditional grape varieties of this part of Puglia (fiano, negroamaro and malvasia nera). However, needless to say it is dominated by wines made from the Primitivo di Manduria grape, with four fabulous options (Memoria, Lirica, Elegia and Sonetto), six when you include their rosato and Madrigale, which is a sweet wine great with dessert. Elegia is amongst my all time favourites red wines – it really showcases the unique characteristics of the primitivo grape. I love it!
One of the highlights of visiting the cantina (if you can drag yourself away from the tasting area and the stunning main room!) is a visit to its museum. The museum is situated beneath the main building in what used to be the concrete / stone vats used to store the wine in the past. As you move between rooms you can tell which were used to store red or white wine based on the colours of the stained walls. The museum gives a fascinating insight into some of the history of wine making in this region but also into rural life in the south of Italy. It is a real gem.