Understanding how wine is made and how the harvest takes place in Puglia are two of the most common curiosities that tourists would like to discover. This is also because the summer season typically reaches its peak in conjunction with the harvest period (which usually covers a range of time between August and November). Wine production in Puglia is an art that requires passion, dedication and a deep respect for tradition. Puglia’s winemakers are masters of the art of transforming grapes into wine, creating labels that reflect the unique character of the region. The process, from vineyard to bottle, is a journey that celebrates the rich wine heritage of this region.
Puglia – with its Mediterranean climate and fertile lands – has been one of the most important wine regions in Italy for centuries. Wine production, here, is a tangible profession that mixes tradition and innovation. Are you ready to learn in detail how wine is made in Puglia? It’s a process that leads to the creation of some of the country’s finest and most award-winning wines. Let’s find out together!
From the grape harvest in Puglia to understanding how wine is made
Understanding how wine is made in Puglia is a unique opportunity to learn about one of the many facets of this land that blends its identity, tradition, culture and flavour. Let’s discover together how the grape harvest takes place in Puglia, which are the best Apulian wines and where to taste the wine from the best grapes. It should be noted that – the heterogeneity of the soil and the geographical context of Puglia – combine procedures and varied wine production. That’s why hills and coasts of Puglia region offer lands with different organoleptic properties, but both are superlative for growing vines. The most common grape varieties include for example Primitivo, Negroamaro, Nero di Troia and Malvasia Nera.
The grape harvest period in Puglia brings with it great excitement and an air of celebration. The countryside, the farms, the wineries and the many farmers who work there are preparing to harvest the grapes from the vineyards and their subsequent processing. But what is the period in which the grapes are harvested in Puglia? Apart from a rougher answer defined in months (August-November), the real answer to this question is given directly by the grape to its winemaker. In fact, from a more technical point of view, the right moment is when the grapes have reached a certain balance between the sugars and acids contained within them. More generally, it can be said that it is recommended to harvest when the grapes have reached the desired level of ripeness, based on the intended use of the product and the type of vine. And this obviously depends on the year, the weather of the previous months, the land resources and many other crucial factors.
We’ll take you to harvest!
Understanding how wine is made in Puglia and understanding how the harvest takes place is an involvement that every tourist should experience first-hand. It is an ancient rite, which often sees the same people as actors, women and men, young and old. All engaged in that fundamental process which will be the first step to bring wine into our glasses and grapes onto our tables. Terrachevive wants you to discover how the grape harvest is done in a typical Apulian farmhouse and will explain you the crucial steps to understand how wine is produced in Puglia. We are among the rows of his organic vineyard from which fine wines such as Susumaniello, Primitivo di Manduria, Aglianico and Negroamaro are produced. In addition to the smell of sugar, we breathe collaboration and deep respect among the farmers who work with a smile on their faces, happy to be part of an ancient ritual that binds us to our land and which, as such, requires effort, sweat and dedication.
Understanding how Apulian wine is made step by step
A ritual unchanged over time, characterized by traditional and strictly organic agriculture, in full respect of nature and its precious land. To fully understand how wine is made in Puglia, we will observe in the field how farmers harvest the grapes in Puglia: the bunches of grapes are manually cut from the plant, thus ensuring the choice of the best ones. There is nothing mechanical, the selection takes place on each individual bunch and requires manual skills. The farmers cut the grapes being careful not to damage the mother shoots of the row. The bunches that have not reached the right maturation will be harvested later or will be left hanging, becoming food for insects or nourishment for the earth.
The cut grapes end up in the buckets that each farmer carries with him between the rows. When they are full, they are emptied into a box which will be taken to the cellar for subsequent processing. From here we will first move on to crushing (a process in which the grapes are crushed to release the must – the must is the liquid that contains sugars, acids and other compounds that will form the wine) and then to pressing. The latter divides the must from the solid residues, an essential phase for obtaining a clean must ready for fermentation.
Fermentation is a key phase in the Apulian wine production process. During this phase, natural or added yeasts transform the sugars present in the must into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This gives the wine its characteristic alcohol content and aroma. Maceration, on the other hand, is a period in which the must remains in contact with the grape skins (it affects the colour and aromatic characteristics of the wine). After fermentation, the wine may undergo a period of refinement. This often takes place in wooden barrels or stainless-steel tanks, depending on the type of wine you intend to produce. During refinement, the wine acquires aromatic complexity and structure before moving on to bottling and labelling.
After the effort, the well-deserved and “tasty” rest in the farm
The smell of the earth and ripe grapes permeates the air, the effort of manual labour under a hot sun whets the appetite which will be satisfied while sitting comfortably in the farmyard. After discovering the harvest and understanding how Apulian wine is produced, you will enjoy a well-deserved rest under the shade of the oak trees and tasting the typical products from the organic garden. At our table a selection of the best Apulian cured meats and traditional cheeses, capocollo from Martina Franca, mozzarella, burrata, capocollo accompanied by Taralli and focaccia prepared with traditional recipes. Obviously, you can’t miss out on some excellent Apulian wine! Raise your glasses, cheers!
Our beloved land of Puglia, a land that lives! Come and experience it too, we are waiting for you!