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  • Puglia where “wine is as natural and as necessary as bread.”

    Above: Ostuni, Puglia’s famous ancient “white” city.

    We just had to share this nugget, discovered recently while leafing through an autographed copy of the great twentieth-century British wine writer Cyril Ray’s 1979 book Ray on Wine (which we picked up in a rare book store on a trip to San Francisco).

    Ray had worked in Puglia as a correspondent during the Second World War and he cites that time of his life as a formative experience in his knowledge of wine and winemaking.

    Remembering his time with the British campaign in the “heel of Italy,” he wrote, “we picked grapes from roadside vineyards to quench our thirst as the Eighth Army clanked and rumbled its way northwards in a cloud of dust… It was still a country where wine was a part of life and where men grew wine as a matter of course…”

    “It is salutary for an Englishman to live for a while in a wine-growing country, even — or perhaps particularly — a wine-growing country as simple as Apulia, where wine is neither a symbol by which snobs can demonstrate their wealth or their taste, nor a means of fuddlement, but as natural and as necessary as bread.”

  • Cantele Chardonnay for summer: A Chardonnay “benchmark”

    Augusto Cantele changed the course of Puglia viticulture when he first began to grow and vinify Chardonnay in Salento in the early 1990s.

    After years spent studying winemaking and working in wineries in northern Italy, where Italy’s white production was focused at the time, not only had he nurtured a taste for fresh, fruit-driven whites, but he also had developed his immense skill and experience in growing practices and vinification techniques used in the production of top white wines.

    Even before he returned to Puglia to join his family’s winery, he had long dreamed of making Chardonnay in his family’s adoptive homeland — Puglia’s Salento peninsula. When the estate began releasing its first white wines, he became a pioneer of Chardonnay production in the region.

    Today, the winery’s bottlings of Chardonnay — from its youthful Chardonnay to the French barrique-aged Teresa Manara — are considered benchmarks for the category.

  • Book your event now at iSensi, Cantele’s cooking school, test kitchen, and wine bar

    Heading to Puglia this summer? Cantele’s tasting room and test kitchen “iSensi” can handle groups of nearly all sizes.

    Click here to learn more and to reserve your wine tasting or cooking classes.

    iSensi also hosts al fresco lunches and dinners featuring classic Pugliese foods, dishes, and wines.

    iSensi is a space where aromas and flavors take shape, where music and art are blended together to create a multi-sensorial experience. We offer our guests a hands-on experience where tradition and innovation come together to create a wholly unique and unforgettable visit.