Kin of Zin
Recent "DNA" testing has shown Primitivo to possess the exact same genetic make
up as the popular California grape, Zinfandel.
Oddly enough, both varieties origins are tracked back to Croatia. And while
the grapes may be identical in theory, the wines they produce have distinct
Primitivo's home province is Apuglia (sometimes called Puglia), located in the
"heel" of Italy's boot. Wines made from Primitivo have notes of plum and spice,
like Zinfandel, but because of different growing soils and climate, the fruit
character is less jammy, the structure more akin to old world wines, with rustic
notes of earth and spice, as well as tamed fruit flavors.
Summing it up
Successful Sites: Italy
Common Descriptors: jammy, brambly, chocolate, rustic
Learn More About Southern Italy, Italy
Abruzzi, Puglia, & Campania
Kind of central, kind of southern, this region is best known for it's wine, Montapulciano d'Abruzzi – this wine is made from the Montelpulciano grape, unlike Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano, made with a Sangiovese clone in the region of Montelpuliciano. The Montelpulciano grape is happiest here in Abruzzi and the wine is rustic, yet soft and often fruity. The best part is that it's also good value and super food-friendly.
Sometimes called Apuglia outside of Italy, the area is known for making wine from the Zinfandel-related Primitivo variety. It sits on the Adriatic coast, facing Greece, and enjoys a Mediterranean climate. A productive wine region, Puglia makes a lot of wine, some of it not so high quality. Luckily, the good wine is exported and is of excellent value.
Perhaps better known for the city of Naples than the wine produced, Campania does have a couple of wines worth recognition. First, the white known as Greco di Tufo – an indigenous variety, Greco produces white wine that is dry, with a subtle nutty flavor. The best-known red here is Taurasi, made from the Aglianico grape, producing a wine of distinct color and flavor, with aromas of tar and leather.