I promise to return to what I started, and my next post will focus on the most important DOCs in Puglia, but first, I have to send a shout out to Gianni Cantele, a wonderful guy and winemaker, who was recently interviewed for an article in the Wallstreet Journal, A Movable Feast in Southern Puglia.
Man, can't the well-paid journalists come up with original titles?
I met Gianni Cantele thanks to his brother Paolo. I was contacting winemakers in Puglia, researching the 2009 Puglia Harvest Report, when Paolo directed me to Gianni. Gianni has a commanding historical perspective, and when his grandfather first came to the Salento Peninsula to begin a winery, the locals spoke a dialect that had more in common with Greek than Latin. Today, some local dialects still have Greek roots, but everyone speaks good ol' Italian, too, which wasn't the case 100 years ago. Gianni also has an eye for the future, and he's one of the first winemakers on the Salento peninsula to begin truly exploring the capabilities of the aglianico grapes grown in northern Puglia around Foggia. Glad to see the heel of the boot rising, I just hope it tilts before it comes down, pouring it's sun-soaked wines so that we'll all be Sipping from the Heel.