primitivoThe most famous of the Puglia grape varieties, Primitivo owes its name to the fact that it matures before all the other types of red grapes in the region. Well-known even in Medieval times, this red grape variety is found throughout the province of Taranto, in particular in the area known as Manduria. It is the basis of one of the four DOCG wines from Puglia, Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale, a sweet dessert wine. The grape has a generous yield and is known throughout the world as one of the great Italian red wines. This variety is also cultivated abroad and has genetic ties to Zinfandel.

The Primitivo variety has the following features:

  • Leaves: medium-sized, pentagonal, five-lobe shaped
  • Cluster: medium-sized, long-shaped, simple conical-cylindrical, winged or double, quite close-knit
  • Grape: medium-sized, spheroidal        
  • Skin: medium-thickness, bluish and with a plenty of bloom

Production features: the Primitivo variety has medium vigour, a premature ripening time, and a high but little constant productivity.

Cultivation and farming: the Primitivo variety cannot tolerate the drought and the heat. The traditional farming procedure is Apulian-tree based with 4-5 spurs.

Wine features: the Primitivo variety produces a very deep dark-ruby-red wine. It smells spicy and fruity. It tastes warm, soft, and fairly tannic. It is full-bodied and high in persistence.