The Vine

Primitivo – The dark autochthonous berry

In the XVIII century, Benedictine monks introduced new vines in Apulia. In Gioia del Colle, the monks found the most favourable conditions for viticulture. PRIMATIVO, also known as U’PR’MATI’VE in our local idiom, is the original name of the Primitivo grape in Gioia del Colle. It was selected at the end of the 1700’s by the chief-priest of Gioia del Colle, Don Francesco Filippo Indellicati, who named it Primativo®, due to its early ripening, in comparison with the other red grapes in the countryside of Gioia.

The Primitivo was the first vine to cross the Atlantic Ocean and reach California , where it became known as Zinfandel. Wine experts like Garoglio, Bruni, Veronelli and Hugh Johnson praised the qualities of this grape.

Froio wrote:

“It represents the main cultivation in Gioia del Colle and it’s used to make wine;
of excellent taste if pure, not so perfect if grown elsewhere as it is in Gioia del Colle.”

Even poets have shown interest for it. A. Morelli recites:

“And the early Primitivo
from Gioia del Colle
makes our blood restless
like quick silver.”

It is a medium vigour vine with a stout trunk with intense green pentagon-shaped leaves with the back lobes laying one upon the other. The branches are rough, streaked, and grape-juice coloured. The budding usually starts at the end of April. The thick, short, must-coloured stalk holds a long cone-frustum-shaped bunch with one or two heads. The dark blue spheroid berries have thin skin and are pulpy. The juice is very sweet and rose-coloured with purple tints.

The Primitivo vine is particular because its secondary budding is fruitful, in fact, it is the only vine all over the Mediterranean area to supply a secondary harvest: the “racemi“. They are smaller grapes less full-bodied but much more delicate and sweet-smelling. The Primitivo‘s must is intense ruby red coloured, rich in violet hues like its froth.

For all the love we showed him, “The Primitivo” has dedicated a poem to us: Gioia’s “Primitivo”.


Greco – The white autochthonous berry

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.