One of the most famous wines of Puglia - the Primitivo

The fabulous Primitivo Wine from Puglia which drive Italians crazy

Along with Negroamaro and Nero di Troia, Primitivo is one of Puglia’s most famous native grapes and one of the ten most-planted grapes in Italy. The name Primitivo is the name of the grape, due to the fact that it is the first to ripen compared to other red grape varieties in Puglia. In fact, it matures around the end of August and is able to resist the summer heat of Puglia.


Initially grown in the Gioa del Colle area, cuttings of Primitivo reached also Manduria, in the province of Taranto, between 1700 and 1800, brought there by migrant workers. The Salento peninsula – from Taranto and Manduria, over to Brindisi and Lecce is a hot, low lying area up to 100m above sea level, with red and brown clay soils.

The south, Salento and Manduria is a very different place. – the peninsula between the Adriatic and Ionian seas – the influence of the two seas is very strong. The sea gives a salty influence to the wine, and the winds mitigate the heat.

The Primitivo wine is a dark-skinned grape known for producing inky, tannic wines. The Primitivo di Manduria has an intense ruby red color and a very harmonious, spicy and full-bodied taste. On the nose, it recalls red fruits and hints of ripe fruit and licorice, but also cherry or plum jam.

 A classic Primitivo wine is high in both alcohol and tannin, intense deep color with an alcohol content of 16 to 18%.

The top ten Primitivo wines in 2019

Italians love for the Puglian red - the Primitivo wine is growing from year to year. Whether from Manduria or Gioia del Colle, it doesn't matter to fans. The fact is that this red has had a few problems until a few years ago,but has now become the spearhead of Apulian and Southern wine-making. It has been not only a commercial success, but also a great qualitative recovery.  Here are some of the best Primitivo labels covered across various Italian wine publications:

  1. Es 2015 Salento IGTGianfranco Fino
  2. Old Vines 2014 Tarantino IGT Morella
  3. Fatalone 2013 Primitivo di Gioa del Colle Riserva Fatalone Pasquale Petrera
  4. Gioia del Colle Primitivo Riserva Vincenzo Latorre 2011 
  5. Primitivo di Manduria Riserva 2011 Attanasio
  6.  Riserva di Pietraventosa 2011
  7. Chiaromonte Riserva Rosso Gioia del Colle DOC 2013
  8. Tradizione del Nonno 2013 Primitivo di Manduria Vinicola Savese
  9. Sessantanni 2014 Primitivo di Manduria DOC Cantine San Marzano
  10. Volere Volare 2015 Pietraventos

Why not try a pasta made with the most famous wine of Puglia ?

Tagliatelle al Primitivo

We tried this dish in July in Ostuni in a restaurant popular with locals. A delicious rich sauce with the beautiful aroma of the famous Primitivo wine.



For the pasta: (for 4 large portions): 600g of semolina flour, 200g of Primitivo wine, 2 eggs.

For the sauce: 1/2 kg of coarsely ground veal or cut into small pieces, 1 glass of Primitivo, 1 celery stick, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 2 cloves, 2 bay leaves, black peppercorns, oil and salt. 

Make a well in the centre of the flour on the pastry board, pour the wine and eggs in the center, knead until a consistent dough is obtained. Let the dough sit for an hour. In the meantime, put the Primitivo, the cut pieces of celery, carrot, onion, cloves, bay leaf, pepper into a bowl and leave to rest. After the hour, take the pasta and roll it into thin sheets and form the tagliatelle with the help of the pasta machine. Take a pan and brown all the vegetables in the marinade with oil, removing the pepper, bay leaf and cloves, then chop them all upi n the mixer. Add the meat with the wine, salt and cook for about 15 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to the boil for the pasta.Drain the pasta when al dente and season it with the meat sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan. Buon appetito!

Other recipes with the glorious Primitivo wine from Puglia

If you are a fan of the Primitivo wine, you'll be surprised what type of recipes and desserts are made with the Primitivo wine. Not just pasta or risotto recipes, but also beautiful meat dishes such as  Filetto al Primitivo di Manduria or Capocollo di Maiale al Primitivo, or desserts such as Gelato al Primitivo di Manduria or Torta al Primitivo e cioccolato.


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