Puglia: the Masserie of Negramaro and Primitivo
Located on Italy’s sun-drenched southeast coast, the region of Puglia is rich in history, characterised by bright blue sea and white sandy beaches as well as delicious food and prize-winning wines.
Typical Masserie intersperse the landscape. Fortified homes of brick and stone dating from the Middle Ages right up to the sixteenth century when the Spanish ruled this part of Italy, Masserie once served as farmhouses and way stations for travellers along the Via Appia. They have now been converted to private residences or boutique hotels with thoughtfully adapted and beautifully preserved interiors, and turned into places of cool serenity surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.
Puglia is a melting pot of history and art. The towns of Lecce, Galatina, Galatone and Nardò are jewels of the Baroque. The local stone, a compact-grained and marbled “honey-coloured limestone, which can be carved with a penknife”, greatly inspired the creativity of local artists and builders. Founded by the Greeks, Gallipoli is built on a headland extending into the Ionian Sea, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus and characterised by watery blue reflections on old stone walls. Prior to the Normans, to whom Puglia owes wonderful castles such as the ones built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, this part of Italy was ruled by Byzantium so that it is not unusual to stumble upon the ruins of medieval byzantine churches decorated with beautiful frescos among abandoned olive groves.
As for food and wine, Puglia is among Italy’s most renowned regions for excellence and for amount of agricultural biodiversity: twelve local artichoke varieties and twenty-eight tomato varieties grow in this region alone. Seafood and fish from the local small-scale fishing activities are accompanied by fresh white wines made from Bombino, Verdeca and Trebbiano grapes or perfumed rosé. Among red wines, the most famous are Negramaro and Primitivo – both strong, intensely flavoured wines that owe their high level of tannins to the early ripening of the grapes and protracted ageing in barrels. The grapes are mainly grown in Salento – the southernmost tip of Puglia – where in the summer a month-long festival celebrates the region’s unique folk music and dance known as the “pizzica”.
13.00 Arrival in Brindisi airport and transfer by minibus to Salento. Check in at Masseria. Visit to the church of Santa Maria di Ruggiano. Wine lesson no. 1 with our professional sommelier on the history of wine and its cultural importance, the main vines of Puglia, wine cultivation techniques, the appropiate glasses, tasting of two wines. Dinner in one of our recommended restaurants.
After breakfast visit to Gallipoli, the pearl of Salento and visit to Cellar n.1 with a guided wine tasting session. Visit to cellar no. 2 with guided wine tasting. Visit to the seafront of Otranto, the eastern-most town of Italy packed with oriental charm, with its imposing moated castle and Norman cathedral.
Return to the Masseria. Wine lesson no. 2 (how to smell wine, typical scents of white and red wines, how to sharpen your sense again, identifying aroma and bouquet). Dinner in a local restaurant.
Visit to the Baroque cities of Galatina and Galatona, visit to cellar no. 3 with guided wine tasting. Lunch. Depending on the weather, a few hours on the beach of the “Maldive of Salento”. Wine lesson no.3 (tasting wine, the senses of tasting, the link beetwen wine and territory). Dinner in a local restaurant.
Visit to bizantine churches in the Salento countryside, with medieval chapels and frescos. Visit to cellar no. 4 with guided wine tasting. Lunch. Visit to the Unesco world heritage of Lecce – known as the “lady of Baroque” – with beautiful churches and white stone buildings. End of trip and return to Brindisi airport.
Before breakfast, our more active guests are welcome to join us on a 40 minutes slow jog among olive groves and vineyards.
The tour will take place with a minimum of 8 participants.
- Visit a sixteenth Century Masseria.
- Walk in the streets of the Baroque towns Lecce, Galatina, Galatone.
- Admire the medieval bizantine churches and frescos.
- Take a walk in Gallipoli gazing at the open blue sea.
- Admire the never ending olive groves and the massive vineyards.
- Relax on the white sandy beaches of Salento.
- Stroll around the farmers’ market.
- Try fresh seafood from the local fishermen.
- Taste the products of the land: juicy tomatoes, aubergines, zucchini.
- Enjoy the sky full of strars on a hot summer night.
- Sip the refhreshing white wine made from Bombino or Trebbiano, and the fruity rosè.
- Discover the power of the red Negramaro and Primitivo, wines full of sun power and harmony.
- Learn to love the wines of Puglia through the lessons of our certified sommeliers.
Ask for a quote for this tour. Price may vary depending on the season. Our proposal includes:
Minivan pick un and drop off at Brindisi airport. Mivan trip to Salento and local transport.
3 night accomodation in a Masseria or Country house with breakfast (in double room). 3 suppers (not including drinks).
3 wine lessons with our certified sommelier.
Professional guide tours to historical and artstistic sites. Guided wine tasting in our selected cellars.
Prices are not inclusive of entrance tickets to musems, archeological/historic sites and other extras.
All lessons and tours are in English. Every member of group should arrange his own travel insurance against theft, loss and medical problems (we suggest Direct travel or Alliance).
Brindisi airport is served with direct flights from Rome or Milan, London Stanstead, Frankfurt, Eindohoven (Ryanair or Alitalia).