Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Primitivo, the poet's wine

Thick and full-bodied, blood red, yet with a velvety purple hue, Primitivo has been a favorite wine among artists and poets for generations. The wine has an intensity of aroma that slowly reveals itself in the glass, from hints of plum and cherry, to more subtle spices that you may not notice on first inhale.
Primitivo comes from the Manduria region of Apulia, where the unique characteristics of the land (the 'terroir' as wine buffs put it), play an important role in its creation. The contrast between hot, sunny days and cool, breezy nights, add depth to the flavor and richness to the color of the wine, but it was the speed at which the grape ripened that originally led to its popularity with growers in the region, a fact recognized in its name.
If a map of Italy resembles a giant boot, then the Apulia region makes up much of the heel. Primitivo isn't the only great wine that grows there, but it's certainly among the most popular. Each winemaker cultivates their own version of the wine, from light and floral to the the more popular heavy and full bodied. In fact, it's claimed that Apulia makes more wine than the whole of Australia. Quite the feat considering its relatively small footprint. Pun intended.