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  • 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.

  • Twenty years of Teresa Manara Chardonnay, named after the woman who inspired it all…

    This year marks the twentieth vintage of Cantele Teresa Manara Chardonnay, named after the Cantele family’s grandmother, the woman whose love of Salento inspired her husband to relocate to Puglia.

    Rhythms that repeat themselves, over and over, just like the sunrise.

    Between ancient olive trees and expert hands, traditions intertwine every evening surrounded by two seas but just one sunset.

    Under a hot sun, men and women sing among the vines. Their hands are rough and their movements soft.

    Run, Teresa. The earth is warm under your feet. You taught us how color tells us when the moment is right. Run. The fruit is ripe and harvest won’t wait.

    Twenty summers, twenty harvests. Winds that blow from the north and dry the dew. A new vintage is ready. It’s ready and it whispers your name.

  • Barrique-fermented Chardonnay at Cantele

    This September, winemaker Gianni Cantele shared the photo below on Facebook.

    Those are French barriques, 225-liter oak casks, used for fermenting the winery’s flagship Teresa Manara Chardonnay. Check out the Facebook post where he also shared video of the wine as it begins to ferment.
    As Gianni explains, some of the barriques are new while some of them have already been used for two or three vintages.

    After fermentation is complete, he will blend the wine using all three “expressions” of the vintage — from new, 2-year, and 3-year casks.

    Continue reading Barrique-fermented Chardonnay at Cantele

  • Teresa Manara Chardonnay “Dieci Settembre” (“September 10”)

    September 10 was a particularly meaningful date in the 2013 harvest: It was the date we picked the last bunches of our Chardonnay. We harvested them just as they were enjoying the last rays of summer sunlight and the cool mornings that announce the arrival of fall.

    This day was also the culmination of a patient wait that had been devoted to the grapes in a small zone in our Teresa Manara vineyard. The area is remarkable for its perfect soil and climate. The limestone-rich earth is medium-compact with great drainage. And so it’s ideal for late-ripening the bunches on the vine, a natural process aided by the wind and carried out with great patience.

    The breeze is always an invisible player in the phases that precede the harvest. It’s an essential element in allowing the grapes to reach and surpass their physiological ripeness while still perfectly healthy and intact. It helps to give this wine its unmistakable aromatic character.

    Continue reading Teresa Manara Chardonnay “Dieci Settembre” (“September 10”)