Gorgeous coasts, fairy-tale landscapes, a food and wine tradition that makes gourmet enthusiasts from all over the world fall in love: Puglia is this and much more. If it is still too early for a Mediterranean holiday to discover this wonderful region, it is never too early to embark on a journey with a fork ... and a glass! Here are some of the most appreciated and excellent regional products: gems which a sincere enthusiast should not have to give up for anything in the world.
Puglia excellence: wines and specialties to discover
Some wines need no introduction as they are so loved and well-known. The Primitivo di Manduria is certainly one of these. A red of great tradition, inimitable in taste and appeal, perfect for accompanying sumptuous, rich dishes. The Primitivo di Manduria is certainly not the only full-bodied wine that is worthy of enthusiasts' attention. As ever among the reds, the Negroamaro occupies a special place in our ranking: its structure and aromas go perfectly with meat-based second courses, and this wine does not fear spicy flavours. Another prominent representative of the wines of Puglia? Directly from our Cellar in Torricella: the Exclusive Red Gold Label Puglia IGT. Made only from Salento grapes, this wine is refined by ageing in oak barrels. It is unique in its inspiration and absolute enological cleanness.
And now we come to the joys of the table! As we travel through Puglia, here are our pairing suggestions for structured and inviting reds: Cappello del Gendarme, a rustic savoury cake filled with pork, prosciutto, eggs, cheese and turkey meat. An explosion of taste: to be enjoyed while still warm, this is a heavenly experience! Not to be missed are the Brasciole, horse meat rolls stuffed with capers and pecorino cheese. All dishes that feature cardoncello mushroom and lampascione are very good: the latter has a slightly bitter, unmistakable flavour. Cured meats and cheeses are always a good accompaniment for reds, especially spicy and seasoned ones.
The unique character of the Apulia region also produces fragrant, light whites, laden with inviting suggestions. Chardonnay has found in this region a particularly suitable home, and it gives rise to some labels of great standing. At Torricella we produce a double version of Chardonnay: Chardonnay Puglia IGP Biologico (Organic), which is sensual and fruity, and Chardonnay Salento IGT Esclusivo Etichetta Oro (Exclusive Gold Label), a white that manages to combine inspiration derived from its homeland with sensations of an international ambit. Completing the picture of Apulia's offer, the Fiano and Malvasia grapes, two versatile and eclectic varieties, give life to lively, fresh and charming wines.
With which foods should we pair these labels? An essential is Tiella, made with potatoes, rice and mussels — a dish that combines flavours of the countryside with aromas of the sea, thus expressing the double soul of the region. Also excellent is Puddica, the soft and tasty focaccia typical of Brindisi. And, with an Apulian white, it would be a sin not to enjoy a dish of Orecchiette pasta with turnip greens, a must for gourmets!
Always on the lookout for new wines to put to the test? Turning to rosé can be a good idea. Here too, Apulia has much to offer. Primitivo Rosé is delicious — this most delicate variant of the classic Primitivo is a fresh, inviting wine with a rich and complex bouquet. The Esclusivo Etichetta Oro line from our cellars also offers a rosé — the Rosato Puglia IGT wine is harmonious and well balanced, and pleasantly fresh with an interesting aromatic profile.
To complete our journey through the specialities of Apulia, let's discover some delicious fish dishes. The Scapece of Gallipoli is a street food staple in fairs and festivals of the territory. This is a fried dish of small fish, marinated and coated with breadcrumbs in a lot of vinegar and saffron. Scapece is presented in wooden tubs, consisting of alternating layers of fish and bread. Also enjoyable is Polpo alla pignata — an octopus cooked in a terracotta 'pignata' pot with tomato, onion, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and pepper. Very tender and flavourful, it is a simply irresistible main dish.