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Puglia

Puglia, which spans Italy’s long stiletto “heel” from northwest to southeast, rivals Sicily for being the largest producer of Italian wine. Sometimes called "the wine cellar of Italy", Puglia lies beside the Adriatic Sea. The region is the oldest wine-growing region of Italy. Principal wine towns in Puglia include Lecce, Martina Franca, Manduria and its capital, Bari. More than 60% of the production of wines in Puglia is red wine. The flagship red grape of Puglia is Primitivo, a distant cousin of California’s Zinfandel grape. The wines made with Primitivo are luscious, heavy and definitely “food wines”. Apart from Primitivo di Manduria (considered the best wine from Puglia) another successful red wine is Salice Salentino, a powerful wine made primarily with Negro Amaro. Puglia makes some light white wines with the Bombino Bianco and Verdeca grapes, and the rosés of Puglia have also been successful.