Tradition and technology. Manual harvesting and new machineries. Passion and dedication. The ingredients for a high quality wine-making are all there. At 380 meters above sea level, on the plateau of the Murgia, in the Parco Largo district, Pietraventosa winery enhances the thousand souls of the Primitivo wine of Gioia del Colle thanks to the clever work of Marianna Annio and her husband Raffaele Leo, engineer in a wine-making machinery company, in collaboration with the oenologist Oronzo Alò.
“We do not have generations of winemakers in our family. Raffaele’s grandfather was a winemaker at the beginning of the last century in Torre Santa Susanna, in the province of Brindisi” Annio says to Puglia Mon Amour. However Pietraventosa wines are already well known as excellence of Puglia in Italy with several awards on various guides, including Gambero Rosso, and abroad where the company founded in 2005 exports its wines.
Four and a half hectares of vineyards, cultivated by organic methods, plus some grapes of Aglianico and an old one-hectare vineyard of only Primitivo. The yields are deliberately kept low through targeted agronomic pruning and thinning to obtain the highest quality fruit and wine for a niche market. The harvest is manual from 5-6am until 11am. A buffing machine separates the stems from the grapes that are brought through a tube inside the fermenter without any intermediate steps. More than 100 tons of grapes are harvested usually throughout the vineyard.
There are wo different geomorphology conformations of the land, as Annius says: lime of Altamura and lime of Gravina. The harvest can take place in different times, even ten days apart. “Thanks to these two factors, land and time of harvest, we can make different kinds of wine-making with the same grape. Wines that have different olfactory and taste sensations even if they are from the same type of grape,” Annio says.
The process, after the harvest, continued in the cellar where a fermenter with a rotary mechanism created by Leo allows the ‘hat’ to rise and enter without invasive procedures. From a bottom valve, the wine goes into a press inside which a balloon is inflated to seal externally compressed air to gently press the pomace. “We do not use the press to avoid excessive lees,” Annius says. And then the passage in stainless steel tanks for malolactic fermentation.
The walls of the cellar keep the original appearance, with limestone rocks and minerals, including iron. “This allows us to maintain a constant temperature of 18-20 degrees and the moisture that is used for aging the wine. The barrels differ in the grain of the wood, in a few it’s more porous or finer. From the same wine we get so many different scents during packaging of the bottle. We mix them with each other in order to get the perfect blend,” Annius says.
Pietraventosa produces four wines – for a total of 15,000 bottles – that the company exports abroad, in the United States, in the State of Washington, in Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee. But even in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Denmark and soon in Brazil.
Estrosa IGT Murgia has been a real success. It falls down voluptuous, with its bright flaming red, giving joy to the nose. It’s fine and elegant with sweet and fragrant blossoms of spring and fresh flowers, rose petals, peach blossoms but also fruity with ripe red fruit sweet maraschino cherry, black cherry and wild strawberry. In the mouth, surprisingly, Estrosa contradicts the sweet scents. It is unexpectedly cool, with a nice minerality, balanced by evident aspects of softness.
Ossimoro IGT Murgia shows a small part of Aglianico (25%). From the greek “Oxis” (acute) and “moros” (dull), Oxymoron is a game of contrasts. This wine is the game of the opposites. Like the Greek word, Ossimoro is all and nothing, it is the harmonic whole of sensations unexpressed in touchable world but only in one’s own sphere of perceptions. Like a precious jewel, Ossimoro is an unfiltered wine, produced in a limited edition, obtained by the balanced and contradictory union between Primitivo and Aglianico grapes. Intense and vibrant, with a ruby red shade, with aromas of spices and red fruits, this wine reveals its double soul: strong and firm, but meantime, soft and velvety. It charms the senses with its persuasive simplicity.
Allegoria DOC Primitivo represents the joy of well-drinking. Unfiltered, bottled in a limited edition, Allegoria is made by a selection of grapes of the noble vineyard Primitivo of Gioia del Colle, with an intense ruby-red colour and sensation of cherry, red fruits and ripe plum. Full-bodied, soft and well structured, Allegoria has a gentle almond aftertaste.
And then, last but not least, the Riserva wine, the result of an authentic passion for wine. Unfiltered and bottled in a limited edition, Riserva of Pietraventosa keeps the thousand souls of Primitivo of Gioia del Colle. Of an intense ruby red shade, almost impenetrable, it reveals its flavours of ripe fruits harmonically matched with hints of spices. It fills the mouth, rich and velvety, with close-knits tannins well balanced with the wine richness. In its long and harmonic ending, it reveals a lingering and pleasant almond flavour.
Pietraventosa is a young company and it only waits to be visited. It’s surely one of the most interesting and significant new realities in the region.
Agricole Pietraventosa di Annio Marianna
Contrada Parco Largo – Strada Vicinale Latta Latta s.n.
Gioia del Colle (Ba) Italia
tel./fax +39 (0) 80 5034436 mobile +39 3355730274