Puglia Benvenuta Vendemmia 2009

Last Sunday was Benvenuta Vendemmia, a wine event that celebrates the grape harvest. 13 of Puglia's wineries opened their doors for the event, and provided visitors with tours, tastings, and traditional food. The cost of entry was 5 euro, which included a wine glass that you can take home. Since every wine event in Puglia provides a take-home wine glass, Kristin and I have more glasses than you can imagine.

The event wasn't Puglia's best showing, though it did offer me an excuse to take my family (who were visiting from Maine) into wine country and sample wines made from the Primitivo and Negroamaro grapes. The event featured mostly well-known wineries rather than the best wineries, so our options were slim. We visited Leone de Castris, Due Palme, Paolo Leo, and Consorzio Produttori di Vini.

At Paolo Leo I got to get my groove on with Billy Vulcomo, who was singing traditional Italian ballades interspersed with the Rolling Stones and Lenny Kravitz. It was the first time I'd picked up a guitar since leaving the States 8 months ago, and it was a blast. I usually play death metal, so remembering the chords to a pop song took me a second, but then good ol' Wild Thing came to mind. The classical, acoustic guitar, which had an E string where a D string was supposed to be, rang out just fine and Billy improvised some vocals while my dad belted the true words. Everyone at the tasting go into the song and it felt pretty great. Man do I miss my guitar.

Paolo Leo's 100% Negroamaro "Orfeo" and 100% Chardonnay "Battigia" were both served and enjoyed. The striking label on the rosato (pictured above) was fun, and the wine had an equally striking color that verged on neon red. It was a bit too tropical for me however.


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