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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Thank you, Winebow, thank you, America, for a wonderful experience…

    Paolo Cantele (above) just completed two weeks of market work with Cantele’s new U.S. importer, Winebow. He crisscrossed the U.S., from New York to the Midwest, back to New York and then back to the Midwest again, presenting the winery to its new distributors and partners.

    Over the course of the last two weeks, we’ve meet some wonderful people and experienced the immense potential of our partnership. Salento and Puglia have a fantastic story to tell. It’s been an amazing experience to learn that America wants to hear it!

    Thank you, Winebow! Thank you, America!

  • Pouring wine for a good cause in Cleveland, OH

    “Nothing could be better than when wine and food come together for a good cause,” said Paolo Cantele during a recent benefit evening to raise money for the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland.

    “We are proud to be part of it.”

    From the center’s website:

    “Located on the main campus of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, UH Seidman Cancer Center opened in spring 2011. The 375,000-square-foot hospital houses all of our cancer services under one roof to optimize patient-and family-centered care, provide the latest therapies, enhance collaboration and promote clinical research and education.”

  • The Cantele family “mosaic”…

    “Each of us is a tile in a mosaic that has taken shape over generations.”

    Umberto Cantele

    Last week, the Cantele family presented “Twenty Years of Cantele Teresa Manara Chardonnay,” a celebration of the wine named after the cousins’ grandmother Teresa — the woman who inspired it all.

    That’s the current generation of the Cantele family above, from left: Umberto, Luisa, Giani, Paolo, and Domenico.

    Thank you to everyone who has made this journey possible!