Tag Archives: Radici del Sud

Radici del Sud and why it is so important for Southern Italian wines around the world…

radici nicola

If someone asked me to name the most important person for Southern Italian Wine in Italy at the moment, it would not be a winemaker or vineyard owner. It would be Nicola Campanile, the organiser and curator of the wine competition and festival called Radici del Sud which happens every year in Puglia. Radici del Sud celebrates the native grape varieties of Southern Italy bringing in some of the best journalist’s and wine trade from around the world for a week long event that looks at why Southern Italian wine is so special.


The competition aspect of Radici del Sud is simple.

Radici del Sud’s wine tasting is the event where the wines made by native grapes of Puglia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria and Sicilia are compared. It has been designed by the ProPapilla Association with the aim of identifying those labels that best represent the typicity of the grape that they are produced from. ProPapilla’s mission consists of enhancing the South Italian oenology for the safeguard of that cultural heritage that makes agro-food products appreciated. Under the name of Radici, the Association arranges all sorts of initiatives that support the production of wine from native grapes, with the aim of spreading the high quality of the South Italian labels, enhancing their profile and offering opportunities for visibility within both national and international markets looking for authentic products able to express the territory they come from.

This year, 129 wineries from Southern Italy have entered into the competition and I know for myself, when I attended in 2012, it was an amazing and fascinating experience.

And going back to our original statement, why is Nicola so important?


He is one of the few people in Southern Italy who is working to unite all the Southern regions in highlighting to the world, just how special the native varities they have in their own back yard.

Forza Nicola I say and let’s hope that Radici del Sud is still as relevant and important for Southern Italian wine in the future, because the landscape would be much different without him.



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


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!





When in Puglia: dinner at A’ Crianz in Putignano is a must…

The church of St Domenico in Putignano (Puglia)

A’ Crianz – Putignano (Puglia)

Cellar with food and coal to view the subtitle of this place behind the garden of the church of San Domenico. It is the fruit of the passion for wine, that of Gregory Barletta, and kitchen by Stefano D’Onghia gained after an intense experience in such prestigious kitchens of Italy. The kitchen is an interpretation of Stephen faithful to the traditions, with minor reinterpretations and impeccable quality of raw materials. Appetizers that vary according to season, from fried olives with wild onions, mozzarella from the eggplant flan of creamed cottage cheese. Then burnt wheat orecchiette with mushrooms and tomatoes cardoncelli whipped the provolone. Finally, the meat: filet of ass cheese fondue. Good desserts and wine growing, but already with a good presence of local wines.’  Puglia is Served 2012

Stuffed Zucchini flowers with goats milk ricotta.

Last night we visited the town of Putignano to have dinner at the amazing A ‘Crianz’ www.acrianzputignano.com The restaurant whilst small and unassuming from the outside, cooks some of the best food in Puglia. I was blown away, especially by the antipasto. The stuffed Zucchini flowers with goats milk ricotta were the best I have ever eaten.

All the food was matched with wines from producers of Primativo Gioia del Colle and they all worked very well. Again the standout wines during dinner were the wines of Fatalone with his 2011 Bianco and 2005 Primativo Riserva absolute standouts. Unfortunately his wines are not in the competition as they were entered last year, but I am sure if they were there, they would have done very well.

A southern Italian welcome…

The town of Ostuni

After spending a relaxing morning in Ostuni, it was good to met my fellow judges at Radici del Sud last night and meet two of the strongest supporters of the wines of the South, Nicola Campanile and Franco ZilianiNicola together with the help of Franco have been responsible for putting together such an amazing event. The south and it’s future are in good hands with these two men.

Menu from last nights’ dinner.

During last nights’ dinner at Borgo Egnazia Resort we drank wines selected by Radici matched with some pretty amazing food. The highlight for me was just how well the Roses matched with the first couple of dishes. Rose from Puglia has to be some of the best Rose from Italy.

Today we have a very busy schedule, meeting with lots of different producers during the morning and afternoon. For dinner we are heading to the town of Locorotondo which I am really looking forward to.

Not all change is bad: especially for the South of Italy….

The famous 'cow' statue at Dario's in Panzano, Tuscany. Another great example of how Tuscany and the North have been fantastic marketers of Italy...

Ten years ago if someone gave you a blueprint of importing Italian wines into Australia, geographically it would start at Florence and head north. You would fill your portfolio with as much Chianti and Super-Tuscans as possible, and then work your way up to the top of Italy. The south and their wines were the forgotten regions of Italy. It would have been commercial suicide to focus on the South. Or so it seemed at the time.

Fast forward ten years and so much has changed. Puglia, Campania, Basilicata and Sicily are hot spots for Italian wine in many markets around the world. Calabria after a slow start is now joining in the fun.

Why has the south been able to claw it’s way back and finally get recognition it deserves?

It all comes down to one thing: indigenous grape varieties.

However in the long run this will not guarantee success. It is one thing to have a massive array of indigenous varieties, it is another to use these unique varieties for the benefit of each region to make sure that they are recognised and respected as noble varieties of the south.

How will the south show the rest of Italy and the world that these grape varieties are as serious and noble as the wines of central and northern Italy? This question will play a big part in the long term success of the south.

Radici del Sud 2012

The world’s eyes are focused on the ‘South of Italy’ to see if this period in the spotlight will create prolonged success for these diverse and culturally different regions. In establishing Radici del Sud, it is obvious that the south is now working together on common goals.

At Radici del Sud 2012 this year in June, it will fantastic to try so many unique and diverse wines from every region of the south. It will be equally fantastic to then listen to these producers and ask what direction they think the south should take? Their answers will go a long way to illustrating to me where I think the south will be in ten or fifteen years time.