Producer Profile: Where the arch meets the heel in Italy’s boot, in a town perched high above the crystal-blue Gulf of Taranto, amidst a landscape of Mediterranean scrub, deep limestone ravines and wooded hills of hardy pine and oak, a father and son are quietly making some of our favorite light, bright, seaside Southern Italian wines. Vito & his father Peppino D’Onghia work together here in their family’s longtime home to develop modern wines of tradition – an intentionally oxymoronic sound to the phrase. These are the wines that, Vito eagerly offers, of which his grandfather would give him sips as a boy. The kinds of wines that, from time immemorial, were the honest fruits of the land – alcohol hovering around 10.5-12% ABV, the cooling winds off the Gulf of Taranto often tempering the otherwise abundant sun of the Italian South. Expressions of local Pugliese grape varieties – fiano, bianco d’alessano, negroamaro, & of course, primitivo are sometimes given to skin contact, sometimes not, depending on the ripeness of a vintage or the intensity of a curiosity sparked when the grapes hit the cellar. Wines with real ease and a kind of soulful hospitality – you get the feeling, somewhere in a bottle of Petracavallo, of someone smiling on the other end of things.
Vinification: 100% Minutolo. Grapes hand-harvested and direct pressed into stainless for 6 months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, with no SO2.
Tasting: A 9.5% saline-driven, crisp white made from the elusive Minutolo grape. Bright acidity meets a round, boyount texture and grassy aromatics. At 9.5%, this is a perfect weekday refresher to pair with citrusy white fish and end-of-summer produce. Serve cold.