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Wines from Salento

The Popular Wines from Salento

Most of you might have heard about Salento wines from the country that is very popular for wines – Italy.

What are Salento wines? Where does it come from? What’s special about these wines?

The label Salento represents one of the most commonly used IGT titles in the Puglia wine zone in the South Italy.

If you want to learn more about the Puglia wine zone, check the article: “Italy’s Secret to Value is here”.

Here we focus on the Salento IGT in specific.

Wine grape varieties

Where is this IGT based at?

As I mentioned, Salento IGT is based at Puglia and is covering the Salento peninsula, which is limestone-based.

This peninsula is found to be acting as a dividing factor between the two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian.

This way, the Salento peninsula is providing the country its heel.

In administrative terms, the Salento IGT region comprises at least three of the southernmost provinces of Puglia, which are namely:

  • Taranto
  • Brindisi
  • Lecce

This makes the Salento IGT spread over 180 kilometers of land in the north-south direction. Thus, it starts from white beaches of Leuca, then travels along the town of Taranto, passes through the canyon of Gravina di Laterza, and reaches its border at Basilicata.

Terroir and Landscape of the Salento IGT

Here, the terroir is found to be the classic kind of Puglia’s terroir and is hot, flat, as well as dry.

The landscape of Salento IGT wine region is found to be covered by olive groves like nowhere in Italy. While this region is famous for its wine grapes and wines, it is also famous for its olives.

The region is representing almost 50% of the total olive oil produced within the country.

The region is home to several world-class wineries, which are known for producing some excellent and exotic vintages of local wine varietals.

The terroir that is described above is well-suited for the cultivation of wine grapes. The prevailing conditions like calcareous clay soils and hot, dry climates are found to be perfect for the wine grape varieties to flourish in Salento region.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Winemaking and Wine Grapes in Salento IGT

Generally speaking, it is said that the Salento IGT wines can be any type like red, rosé, white, sparkling, sweet, or dry.

But, in practice, most of the winemakers are found to be sticking with the strong, dry, and rustic red varietals.

As per the wine appellation laws of Italy, around fifty different wine grape varieties are allowed to be used in the production of Salento IGT wines.

We can say that this is a sign that the country is taking a move towards the varietal winemaking so as to attract more customers in the global wine market.

While this is the case, there are some common grape varieties that can be seen in most of the Salento wines. What are they?

Here is the list for your reference:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Chardonnay
  • Sangiovese
  • Montepulciano
  • Pinot Grigio

Although these internationally popular and ubiquitous varieties have found their way into the Italian IGT wines, the traditional Puglian varieties are still being used, especially, in the production of DOC wines.

Examples of such grape varieties are:

  • Primitivo
  • Negroamaro
  • Malvasia Nera

Apart from these, the varieties like Aleatico, which is known for its aromatic red wines and Susumaiello, which is a rare varietal, are also being used in Salento IGT wines.

On the white side, the variety called Fiano is appearing to make a token appearance in Salento IGT.

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Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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