Thursday, April 21, 2011

Proof That Puglia Has Terroir

It has become almost redundant to describe Puglia’s wines as “sun-drenched.” It’s as common a wine descriptor as “crisp” in regard to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, as “jammy and spicy” for California Zinfandels, and, what do you know, "elegant" in regard to anything expensive. When living in Puglia, I made a 5-post investigation to answer the question: Does Puglia, Italy have terroir? I found the results inconclusive, but learned that most winemakers believe that Puglia does in fact have terroir, that Puglia's terroir will most likely come out with time and hard work, and, further, that the grape that will express Puglia's terroir is Negroamaro.

Fast-forwarding to the present, Puglia's wines are blowing up, as is the region in general. Wine writers, sommeliers, and restaurant's wine directors are repeatedly describing Puglia's wines in the same way: sun-drenched. I don't think that this is a poor or unimaginative description, as is "elegant." Why? Because Puglia's terroir might come from the sky as much as from the ground. I think that all this -- the fact that so many people describe Puglia wine using the same words -- suggests that Puglia's wines have a geographic identity. Further, that Puglia's wines do in fact taste so particular that they could not be recreated in any other growing environment. What do you think? Do Puglia's wines have terroir? Or is it still too early to tell?


Below are a few photos I took that show what Puglia's terroir means to me:













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