Tag Archives: Puglia

Primitivo from Puglia: where are we at?

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Over the last week I have drunk more bottles of Primitivo from Puglia than I have in my entire lifetime.  It has made me appreciate what a fantastic variety Primitivo is. However, it also showed me that so much Primitivo is out of step with reality.

Too many producers in Puglia think the higher the price, the greater the level of toast they need on their new barriques. Just think of how much money they could save (and how much better the wines will be) if they used old oak or even cement for the maturation of their wines.

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I admit, I have been seduced by the dark side. Imported a Primitivo di Manduria in Puglia at 15.5% that was seductive for the first glass. The second glass was not so enjoyable and by the third glass it had become cloying to the point of being undrinkable. The customers out there that loved over oaked Barossa Shiraz fell in love with this wine. In some ways, I was ashamed and made a mental note to myself to never import wine that I would not drink,

Except for the Primitivo di Manduria we imported once, all the other Primitivo we have imported has been either matured in old oak (Fatalone) or seen no or very little oak at all (Lucarrelli) and this is for me the future of Primitivo. In Italy, most of the Primitivo I have tried and been offered to import is the turbo charged examples that are so out of whack with what Primitivo is all about. Hopefully in the next few years this changes and we see some purer expressions of Primitivo.

For this to happen, the mind set of these producers needs to change. They need to know that oak derived flavour does not tell us anything about the wine variety they are growing and the region in which they are growing these grapes. In some ways, they need to go back to the way the parents and grandparents made wine, without the use of excessive oak. After trying so much Primitvo this week, I know they have the resources to be able to make some of the best wine in Southern Italy.

Pasquale from Fatalone is coming to Oz…. For Rootstock Sydney 2014, 8 – 9 February Carriageworks

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We love the wines of Pasquale Petrera  from Fatalone winery in Gioia del Colle in Puglia. I first tried the wines of Fatalone at Radici del Sud in June 2012. As soon as I tried the wines, I knew we had to have these in Australia.

Well the good news is that Pasquale is now coming out to Australia for the natural wine festival Rootstock to showcase his range of wines. Pasquale will be pouring wines from his family estate and I look forward to joining Pasquale and hearing what he has to say about Gioia del Colle, Puglia and his amazing winery. It should be a great few days.

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The huge success of our sold out inaugural Rootstock Sydney festival in 2013, sees us move to an exciting and larger (!) home at the iconic heritage listed Carriageworks building.

Join us for one, or all three, Wine Festival sessions. A rare opportunity to meet inspiring and exceptional artisans and growers from around the world who share common philosophies on sustainability, and wines that are alive and expressive. Taste from over 50 International and Australian wine artisans showcasing over 200 of today’s most unique and exciting wines.

16 Masterclasses entertain and enlighten. Wine masterclasses are hosted by 2 of Australia’s leading wine writers and journalists, Max Allen and Rootstock Sydney’s very own Mike Bennie. Joined by an exciting line up of local and international wine artisans; international journalist and author Alice Feiring; and international musical maestro and wine enthusiast Giovanni Bietti. As part of Rootstock Sydney festivities Bietti performs at the Sydney Opera House on Monday 10th February!
Food Masterclasses take us on a journey through regional NSW with hosts Martin Boetz (Cooks Co-Op | Rushcutters), James Viles (Biota Dining) with Pecora Dairy (Robertson), Bryan Martin (Ravensworth | Clonakilla Wines). Kylie Kwong (Billy Kwong) with Aboriginal Elder Aunty Beryl Van Oploo showcase indigenous plants and fruits in their unique and personal masterclass. Learn how to make cheese and yoghurt with Kristen Allan. Talk and taste coffee with Rueben Hills, Mecca Espresso and La Soledad or beer with brewmasters Leonardo from Birra del Borgo and local brew crew Young Henry’s in their masterclasses and at their stalls.

Our Sunday Marketplace runs 10am-4pm. Featuring NSW’s top chefs and restaurateurs utilising NSW’s best produce. Sample authentic food from Billy Kwong & Outback Pride, 3 Blue Ducks & Bird Cow Fish, Martin Boetz Cook’s Co-Op, Movida & Wapengo Lake Oysters, Biota Dining & Pecora Dairy, Nomad, Vini, Fratelli Paradiso, Ocello, RivaReno Gelato and many more.

Both nights see the Rootstock Sydney Night Festivals from 5-11pm. An amazing line up of chefs will be cooking dishes based around their favourite wine, which will also be poured on the night. Luke Powell, Daniel Pepperell (10 William St), Mitch Orr (121BC), O Tama Carey (Berta), Kylie Kwong (Billy Kwong), Pasi Petanen (Cafe Paci), Mat Lindsay (Ester), Kristen Allan (Full Circle), Luke Burgess (Garagistes), Louis Tikaram (Longrain), James Parry & Daniel Puskas (Sixpenny), Clayton Wells (Momofuku Sei?bo), Federico Zanellato (Ormeggio), Mike Eggert & Jemma Whiteman (Pinbone), Shannon Debreceny (Three Blue Ducks). Create your own dining and drinking experience by visiting your favourite chef stalls throughout the evening. Guest DJ David Miller will provide the tunes!

 

 

 

 

Fatalone: Primativo like you have never seen…

Old Primitivo vines.
Old Primitivo vines.

Whilst I was at Radici del Sud last year, I tried over a hundred different Primativo’s and to be honest, nothing really grabbed my fancy: until I came across Fatalone. This is serious, feminine, structured and long lived Primativo that has you enticed from the first glass.

The micro cellar of Fatalone
The micro cellar of Fatalone

The philosophy behind Fatalone is amazing and this wholistic approach is applied to everything they do. Read more about it below.

We look at vines and wines like people and give them all the best we could desire for ourselves. We give them care through our daily attention and loving presence on the vineyards in respect of the utmost artisanal winemaking traditions. We provide a fresh and comfortable environment through the soundproofing of the premises and temperature control; tranquillity and harmony by applying music therapy in the cellar, a mix of classical music and sounds from nature to support the micro oxygenation and the activity of the living micro flora present in our natural wines. This mix is the key to our success.

We took great care in choosing the soil that became the home of our vineyards and made the conscious decision to plant them all around our winery. We wanted to be near our vines daily and be able to take the fresh picked grapes immediately into the cellar during the harvesting to preserve the top quality of the grapes for winemaking. This is our way to make a truly locally grown product. We carefully chose the wild-vines, the growing system and the pruning most suitable for our vines, to give life to our belief in absolute quality combining this with our strong will to vinify just on our own organic autochthonous grapes and bottle our entire organic wine production.

We believe the success of a wine has to start from the roots of the vine by choosing all the best for the fruit of our labour, at any sacrifice, to create a very limited production of the highest quality.

Every step is carried out with the care and the wisdom which only the human touch can express. We want our wine to proudly mirror the territory, the soil and the men who are its authors.

In the deepest respect for Nature, we have made our production cycle 100% sustainable by practising organic farming, without using irrigation and processing just our own grapes located all around our cellar. Taking advantage of a renewable energy source, we power all our production process with solar energy. Thereby, we can proudly guarantee we produce a Zero CO2 emission wine made just with our locally grown organic grapes.

Our business philosophy is no different. We meticulously manage every aspect of production from the vine, to the bottle, to the final stages of marketing by carefully selecting customers who understand, respect and share our thinking.

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After a tour and tasting of the vineyard, we went to dinner with Pasquale. He is an amazing person and it was great to here his take on life over two hours. The wines of Fatalone have just arrived in Australia and can’t wait to show them on my return.

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The wines of Fatalone from Puglia on the way to Oz via @mondoimports

In June this year, I had the opportunity to head over to Puglia and judge in a competition that looked at the best examples of native varieties grown in the South of Italy. Whilst the overall quality of wines were very high, there was one producer that bowled me over with the quality of wines across the board.

The wines of Fatalone in Gioia del Colle in Puglia were for me the best examples of Primitivo that I tried throughout the competition. Every opportunity I had to go back and try the wines confirmed that these wines show the high notes top quality Primativo can hit: balanced, fragrant, intense with lovely palate weight and without the fruit sweetness which can hinder so many examples of Primativo from this region.

The wines of Fatalone at Radici del Sud 2012

We believe the success of a wine has to start from the roots of the vine by choosing all the best for the fruit of our labour, at any sacrifice, to create a very limited production of the highest quality.

Every step is carried out with the care and the wisdom which only the human touch can express. We want our wine to proudly mirror the territory, the soil and the men who are its authors.

In the deepest respect for Nature, we have made our production cycle 100% sustainable by practising organic farming, without using irrigation and processing just our own grapes located all around our cellar. Taking advantage of a renewable energy source, we power all our production process with solar energy. Thereby, we can proudly guarantee we produce a Zero CO2 emission wine made just with our locally grown organic grapes.

Our business philosophy is no different. We meticulously manage every aspect of production from the vine, to the bottle, to the final stages of marketing by carefully selecting customers who understand, respect and share our thinking. Fatalone

Fantastic Greco from Fatalone.

The origins of this noble Aminean grape date back to ancient time. It reached our peninsula with the help of the Amineans from Greece, immediately after the Trojan War (XIII B.C.). Their first settlement was in Apulia, where they began growing the Greco grape. It is a medium vigour vine with a good yield and has medium-sized and pentagon-shaped leaves. It has a medium-small bunch cone-frustum-shaped and one of its two heads is more developed. It’s full of little spheroid yellowish berries. Its must is very floral and sweet-smelling.

Not only does Fatalone make killer Primitivo but they also produce minuscule quantities of Greco. This wine blew me away at Radici for it’s perfume and seductiveness. It is a wine perfectly suites to the Australian climate.

The wines of Fatalone will be available in Australia in the first few months of 2013.