Make it easy for yourself - buy and order your Primitivo red wine at VINELLO, your specialist wine dealer for fine wines from Italy and the whole world. Enjoy a ruby red and multi-faceted Primitivo. The first among the best.
Fruits of the South - full Primitivo wine taste
The deep red of the Primitivo is filled with an abundance of strong forest fruits, plums and cherries. In the velvety soft body, the nose discovers notes of tobacco, cloves, chocolate, cinnamon, leather and cedar wood. Depending on the region, Primitivo wines are vinified differently. In Salento, mainly residual sweet wines are produced, whereas in Manduria, dry red wines are produced.
However, Primitivo is most often found as dry red wine with a relatively high sugar content. The full-bodied Vino Primitivo has a high alcohol content of 13-15%, which, together with its soft body, makes it a palate delight par excellence.
The best terroir for Primitivo
The maritime climate in Apulia and along the Californian Pacific Coast is ideal for this variety. The vines thrive best in arid, well-drained soil and a warm but not hot, sunny location. Determining the optimal harvest time is a challenge for vintners as the grapes are very susceptible to botrytis cinerea (grey rot, noble rot). Because the grapes ripen unevenly, manual picking is generally unavoidable.
High quality Primitivo and Zinfandel wines often reach an alcohol content of 13 to 15 per cent by volume. They unfold complex and rich aromas. Spice notes with hints of black pepper, cloves or cinnamon but also slightly metallic blackberry tones are characteristic for these wines. They are often matured for a very long time, however they shouldn’t be cellared for more than four to eight years. The classic Primitivo/ Zinfandel is a bold, dry red wine, but rosés and blanc des noirs are also produced.
Primitivo di Manduria DOC
Among the sun-drenched Primitivo wines from Italy, the red wines from Puglia occupy a tasty special position. To be more precise, these are the Primitivo wines that are produced around the town of Manduria. Favoured by the mineral-rich and stony loamy soil as well as the sunny and warm climate, the Primitivo vines thrive extremely robust and splendidly. The result is early-ripening grapes with a high sugar content, which ultimately produce lush and fruity red wines. These are so well received - then as now - that the winegrowers from the north of Salento press Primitivo di Manduria under the DOC status.
In order for Primitivo wine to bear the title Primitivo di Manduria, it is necessary to comply with certain rules defined by the Consorzio di Tutela del Primitivo di Manduria, the official consortium for wines from Manduria and the surrounding area, around 1974. Amongst other things, these rules specify the authorised grape varieties, the ageing period and maximum yields.
Rules for the production of a Primitivo di Manduria red wine
A total of 8 articles are included in the catalogue of measures, after which the red wine is allowed to adorn itself with the DOC status Primitivo di Manduria.
- Article 1 only describes that the protected designation of origin Primitivo di Manduria is only valid for wines that fulfil the following conditions.
- Article 2 deals with the authorised vine varieties. At least 85% of the grapes must be Primitivo grapes. For the remaining 15%, only non-aromatic black grape varieties authorised in the provinces of Taranto and Brindisi are eligible. These can be added individually or in combination.
- Article 3 lists the areas authorised for the production of Primitivo di Manduria. The area extends mainly in the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto, on the so-called boot heel of Italy.
- Article 4 deals with the cultivation, harvest and maximum yield ( 9 tonnes per hectare) of the authorised vine varieties. It also stipulates that the grapes for Primitivo di Manduria must have a minimum alcohol content of 13.00% vol. For a Riserva it is 13.50% vol.
- Article 5 refers to the work in the cellar as well as to the maturing and marketing. The addition of must and wine is prohibited. The earliest sale of a Primitivo di Manduria DOC may take place from 31 March following the harvest. For the Riserva it is even 2 years after the harvest to allow the necessary maturation of 24 months, including 9 months in wooden barrels.
- Article 6 summarises the characteristics of Primitivo di Manduria red wine.
Primitivo di Manduria
Colour: an intense red that changes to a garnet red with age
Taste: characteristic of the region, dry to sweet developed
Aroma: complex and multi-layered
Alcoholic strength by volume: minimum 13.5%.
Acidity: at least 5 g/l
Residual sugar content: maximum 18 g/l
Primitivo di Manduria Riserva
The characteristics for the Riserva differ only in the alcohol content, which must be at least 14% vol.
- Article 7 stipulates that any wine that complies with the above articles must declare the year of production of the grapes in the bottle.
- Article 8 finally clarifies the container of the wine. Only glass bottles with a nominal volume of up to 15 litres may be released for consumption. These may only be sealed with a cork. Only for bottles of 0.25 litres a screw cap is permitted.
Primitivo - known from here to the new world
Unimpressed by the sunny and Mediterranean climate, the Primitivo flowers robustly and stately on the hills of Puglia. The barren and drained soil around the Italian town of Manduria is particularly suited to the grape variety. The growing cultivation of the grape variety in the last decades is the result of the great success of Zinfandel in America. Especially in the times of prohibition, the red wine from Primitivo was a popular contraband.
Primitivo wine had a long existence in the south of Italy as a table grape or blend wine in cuvées. The unexpected success of the grape variety in America was followed by great interest in its Italian counterpart. Today, both in Italy and in America, high class red wines are produced from the Primitivo grape. Originally, however, the grape variety does not come from either of the two nations. Primitivo, or Crljenak Kaštelanski, is native to the Croatian-Hungarian border region of Crljenak. Although a further branching of the origin is probable but not proven.
The true origin of the Primitivo grape variety
Primitivo, Zinfandel, Crljenak Kaštelanski - in all cases it is Tribidrag. The ancient variety from Croatia has always caused a lot of commotion, whether as Zinfandel in California, as Primitivo in Puglia or in the hands of numerous botanists, scientists and politicians. Immerse yourself in the eventful history of a grape variety of which everyone claims a piece. It begins in Italy, more precisely in Puglia, in a small garden of a hobby botanist.
A walk through history
It was in 1799 that Francesco Filippo Indellicati, the priest of the parish of Gioia del Colle, strolled through the local winery. A keen amateur botanist and agronomist, the pious Francesco immediately noticed the precocious vines, which had clearly distinguished themselves among the other grape varieties. He documented his discovery in the town archives under the name Primativo, the first to ripen. The grape variety quickly spread among the local winegrowers in Puglia until the name Primitivo was established around 1860. Since then Primitivo has become one of the most important red varieties in Italy.
Primitivo in America
Once you have travelled halfway around the globe, you discover a grape variety in California that was so similar to Primitivo that you could mistake it for the latter. American winegrowers were convinced that this was a native American grape variety, despite the fact that vitis vinifera is not native to the New World.
Others suspected that it was a Hungarian immigrant who had imported more than 300 different grape varieties to America, including allegedly Primitivo from Italy. Only the historian Charles Sullivan was able to provide solid evidence. The variety originated from the Schönbrunn Wine Collection.
Primitivo and Zinfandel - so similar that they can be confused?
While Zinfandel in California and Primitivo from Puglia delighted people with wine largely independently of each other, in 1967 another gentleman interested in botany strolled through the vineyards of Puglia and thus brought movement to the history of both grape varieties. It was Austin Goheen, a plant pathologist on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service, who at first glance was very familiar with the local Primitivo vines. Without further ado, he sent an offshoot of the Primitivo to the University of California at Davis, planted next to a Zinfandel vine. After some time and research Goheen recognised a strong similarity in morphology. Furthermore, the prospective PhD student Wade Wolf examined the molecular profile of both vines and concluded that the profiles were identical.
The struggle for the grape variety
As research increasingly concluded that Primitivo and Zinfandel must be the same grape variety, Italian wine producers began to market their wine in the United States as Zinfandel as well. This was a nasty shock to the American winemaker. It was not until 1985 that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ruled that Zinfandel should not be used as a synonym for Primitivo, due to insufficient evidence. This changed in 1994, when DNA analysis eliminated all uncertainties - Primitivo and Zinfandel were now considered identical.
The search for the true origin
For a long time it was thought that the Primitivo had Croatian origins, as Zaragese, probably derived from Zagreb, has always been a synonym for the grape variety. The Plavac Mali variety grown in Dalmatia was considered a hot candidate, but was rejected by an analysis of isozymes. However, not before Croatian winegrowers jumped on the bandwagon of success for the grape variety. From then on they sold Croatian wine under the name Zinfandel, the beginning of the second chapter of the battle for Zinfandel. Numerous samples of old Plavac Mali vines were examined, none of them provided an identical DNA profile. But then the breakthrough; a vine of the Crljenak Kaštelanski variety, from Kaštel Novi, north of Split, fully covered the DNA profile of Zinfandel. The connection was confirmed by another vine called Pribidrag, from the garden of an extremely elderly lady,
The oldest mention of the grape variety, which we know today mostly as Primitivo, was under the name Tribidrag. This variety, autochthonous in Croatia, has been known under this name since the early 15th century. The origin of this name is remarkable, as the Croatian word tribidraga comes from the Greek and can be roughly translated as early ripening. This is a bridge between the origin in Dalmatia and the clergyman from Gioia del Colle.
Today Tribidrag can be found almost everywhere in the world. The main places of cultivation are still California and Apulia. And even if the Primitivo is considered exotic in some countries, the grape variety always finds a place. Vines can be found in France, Israel, Croatia, Australia and even in Canada and Mexico. It's no wonder that Tribidrag, Primitivo, Zinfandel or whatever you want to call the grape variety brings full fruit and exuberant pleasure into people's wine glasses.
Interesting facts for the optimal drinking pleasure of your Primitivo red wine
What is Primitivo?
Primitivo, also known as Zinfandel and Crljenak Kaštelanski, is a red grape variety grown mainly in Puglia and California. Primarily dry red wines are produced from the grape. Since 1974, Primitivo red wines from Puglia have been awarded the DOC seal Primitivo di Manduria, indicating excellent quality.
Food recommendation - what goes well with Primitivo red wine?
Strong, hearty, Primitivo. Red meat, roasts and grilled dishes are suitable as a counterbalance to the full-bodied red wine. It also goes well with Asian cuisine and rustic vespers.
At what drinking temperature do you drink Primitivo red wine?
A Primitivo is served at 16-18° Celsius.
How long does an open bottle of Primitivo last?
An open bottle of Primitivo should be firmly closed again and placed in the refrigerator. Depending on the fill level, the wine will keep for up to 3-5 days without loss.
How do you store a Primitivo red wine?
Cool and dark. The complex aromas already unfold in the first year and therefore do not need to be stored for a long time to achieve the optimal drinking pleasure. Nevertheless, Primitivo will keep for up to 5 years in cool, dark cellars. Before enjoying a cellar wine, it is advisable to bring the wine to drinking temperature. The connoisseur says chambrieren, the amateur warms up. No matter how, well tempered tastes best.
Buy Primitivo wines online at Vinello
Order a strong piece of Italy. Our large selection of Primitivo wine will inspire you. Also try a Zinfandel from sunny California, USA. Because the sun makes taste and taste is fun. All this and much more is hidden in the ruby red colour play of Primitivo red wine, cheap to buy, easy to order. Briefly browsed online and quickly delivered to your home. With love and the Vinello guarantee, enjoy the comfort of a holiday in Puglia - with VINELLO your supplier of sunshine hours in red wine form.