The Many Sides to Primitivo

Primitivo is by now recognized as the best-known grape in Puglia wine production. But there is still much to be discovered about its origins.

There is no certain data about when or how Primitivo arrived in Puglia. But one thing is certain: it is very similar to Zinfandel, the European grape variety that landed in California, and to Plavac Mali, a typical grape variety from certain areas of Croatia.

primitivo di manduria

It was surely already in Puglia at the time of the Greeks, when the nectar of this fruit was identified as ‘merum’ or pure wine, and not ‘vinum,’ which was instead wine mixed with water, honey or other substances added to make the drink sweeter.

The name Primitivo is the name of the grape itself due to its principal, identifying characteristic: it is the first to ripen with respect to other red grape varieties in Puglia. In fact, it matures around the end of August. Primitivo grapes are grown in various terroirs, and the various ways of aging the wine produces different results. What they have in common is Primitivo’s distinctive look, aroma and taste: the intense ruby red color with hints of violet, aromas of small red fruits and the flavor of plum and spices.

primitivo di manduria papale linea oro

The Varvaglione family has made this grape variety its flagship wine throughout the world. The various types produced reflect the different areas and methods of aging, but they share the unique, special characteristics of the Primitivo grape and the Varvaglione touch. This is the subject of The Many Sides to Primitivo feature, in which we offer a way to get to know more about this type of wine and how to pair it with dishes from the cuisine of Puglia, and not only…