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  • The bees know when it’s time to harvest the Negroamaro

    “The bees,” wrote winemaker Gianni Cantele on his Facebook this morning, “tell you a lot more than any grape refractometer could! We’re ready to pick!”

    A grape refractometer is a handheld device that allows growers and winemakers to measure the brix (sugar levels) in the berries in the vineyard without having to take them to the lab for analysis.

    But who needs one when you have the bees???!!!

    Let the Negroamaro harvest begin!

  • Wine Spectator features Cantele Rosato

    With harvest well under way here in Salento at the Cantele winery, we couldn’t have been more thrilled to learn that Wine Spectator has featured our Rosato from Negroamaro as one of the editors’ top rosé wines for the summer of 2019.

    In “10 Rosés for One Last Hurrah,” senior editor Alison Napjus offers this tasting note for the 2018 Cantele Rosato (88 points), one of the magazine’s recommended wines for Labor Day weekend (the official end of summer in the U.S.):

    “A bright and buoyant rosé, with an appealing mix of mulberry and white cherry, almond blossom and pink grapefruit sorbet. Tangy finish.”

    Click here for the complete review (subscribers only).

  • Harvest has begun at Cantele!

    The 2019 harvest has begun at Cantele!

    Those are Fiano grapes above, photographed by winemaker Gianni Cantele. They were among the first grapes to be picked.

    Puglia’s yield this vintage is predicted to be slightly smaller than last year’s. But the quality, by all accounts, is very high and Gianni and his team are already hard at work making the wines, which they expect to be great this year despite the lower volume.

    With the white grape harvest now well under way, Gianni is still tasting and analyzing laboratory samples of the red grapes to determine when he’ll start picking the estate’s Primitivo and Negroamaro.

    Buona vendemmia, as they say in Italian! Have a great harvest, Gianni!

  • It’s a small world after all: Cantele at Walt Disney World

    It’s always a great feeling to discover that someone likes your wine enough to pour by-the-glass on their list.

    But when that restaurant happens to be at Walt Disney World (near Orlando, Florida), it’s something really special.

    We were just thrilled to see that Terralina, the Disney Springs Italian restaurant, is currently pouring our Rosato from Negroamaro by the glass.

    Let’s just say the news left us tickled pink.

    Anyone up for a trip to the Magic Kingdom? It’s a small world after all!

    Image via the Disney Springs website.

  • Teresa Manara and Giovanni Battista Cantele were married 82 years ago today

    On this day, 82 years ago, Teresa Manara and Giovanni Battista Cantele were wed.

    “Who knows,” wrote Gianni Cantele on his Facebook, “if on August 22, 82 years ago, they would have thought that their love story, which began in Imola [in northern Italy], would have led to their falling in love with Salento? They had great courage. And I will forever be thankful to them.”

    Click here to read the story of how Teresa and Giovanni Battista found their way to Salento and laid the foundation for what would become the Cantele winery.

  • The Cantele winery by night

    “Wine is art,” says Paolo Cantele.

    The notion is one of the key elements of the Cantele philosophy and the Cantele approach to winemaking.

    And the Cantele family applies this notion to everything they do: From the packaging of the wines to the look and feel of the Cantele winery and the family’s tasting room iSensi.

    For a recent evening event there, the family decided to illuminate the space with the lighting you see above.

    The visual impact, they explain, is your first impression of the wines. And so it sets the tone for everything they do, from growing the grapes to the labeling of the bottles before the wines are shipped.

    Click here to learn more about the Cantele tasting room and event space, iSensi.

  • Thanks for making it a great summer at Cantele!

    Summer is almost at an end and harvest is around the corner here at Cantele.

    But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t time to connect with friends and share great Pugliese cuisine and classic Pugliese wines.

    That’s a party (above) that we hosted this week at iSensi, our test kitchen, tasting room, and events space.

    Happy summer everyone! Stay tuned for news from the 2019 harvest!

    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.

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

    Click here to to reserve your wine tasting, private party, or cooking classes.

  • Getting ready for the 2019 harvest…

    Across the northern hemisphere, grape growers and winemaker like the Cantele family are gearing up for the 2019 harvest.

    That’s an artistic shot of Cantele winemaker Gianni Cantele in the vineyards, taken this week.

    As grapes reach optimal ripeness, the growers need to be constantly testing sugar and acidity levels. That’s because one of the most crucial moments — indeed, the most important moment — is when they decide to begin picking and which blocks they’ll pick first.

    At Cantele, it’s always the Chardonnay that’s harvested first (at least most of it; they leave some in the vineyard for a late-harvest wine they make).

    Of course, growers depend on lab analyses of the berries to determine the right moment to begin the harvest.

    But more than anything else, they rely on their time in the vineyards. As Gianni will tell you, he can tell when the time is right just by walking through the vines and sampling the fruit.

    Stay tuned for updates on Cantele’s 2019 harvest!

  • 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.