• A-Mano's Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero

The wines of Apulia (Puglia), Italy

Located right in the middle of the heel of Italy’s boot, historically this is an important region as it is where the vines arrived into Italy from Greece. In terms of volume, Puglia sits as one of the highest producing regions, second in fact to Sicily. This is a region that also produces vast quantities of oil and rice.

Only a very small percentage of quality wine is produced in Puglia, though there are 32 DOC and DOCG here.

Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva and Castel del Monte Bombino Nero Rosato have been awarded DOCG status. Both are produced from the local varietal Nero di Troia. Included in the DOC for the area are: Aleatico di Puglia, Cacc’e mmitte di Lucera, Primitivo di Manduria, Salice Salentino and Rosso di Cerignola, amongst others.

The wines of Puglia

Negroamaro is one of Italy’s oldest varieties. Its name loosely translates to ‘black of black’, because of the dark skin colour. Wines made from Negroamaro are very deep in colour, though the palate structure not as the colour would suggest; the wines are sweet and velvety and don’t tend to age very well.

Primitivo is one of Puglia’s most famous native varietals. The name Primitivo comes from Francesco Filippo Indelicato, a priest from Gioia del Colle in the province of Bari, who studied this grape in depth during the late 18th century. Primitivo from Puglia tends to be rich in fruit and body, and generally quite high in alcohol.

Nero di Troia is the third cab in the rank for Puglia, after Primitivo and Negroamaro, in terms of vineyard and importance, though is the varietal behind the DOCG. Nero di Troia wines have very high, rustic tannins. They are dense, rich wines that have liquorice, sour cherry, dried herb and olive characters.


Mark Shannon is a Californian who went to Apulia for a short holiday with Friuli native Elvezia Sbalchiero, nursing an affection for the Primitivo grape that rapidly turned into an obsession. Entranced by the region with its fresh, uncomplicated cuisine and timeless approach to living, the pair made it home and established A-Mano to craft their handmade and affordable wines. ‘To make expensive wines is contrary to our way of thinking,’ says Elvezia. Theirs are superb value, fruit forward wines made with much passion and flair. Within one year of its conception, A-Mano had been named Red Wine of the Year at London’s International Wine Challenge.

You’ll find the wines from A-Mano in all Glengarry stores and online www.glengarry.co.nz

By: , Wine with Liz Wheadon, Glengarry

Issue 93 November 2018