Those are some of the very last Negroamaro grapes that winemaker Gianni Cantele and his team harvested last week.

The bunches will be used to make Cantele’s top red wine, the Teresa Manara Negroamaro.

A native grape variety of Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot), Negroamaro is considered by many to be the region’s top red grape. Traditionally blended with smaller amounts of Malvasia Nera to make the Cantele Salice Salentino, its rich flavor and freshness also make it suitable for barrique-aging (as in the case of the Teresa Manara, made from 100 percent Negroamaro grapes).

Gianni is very happy with this year’s harvest and expects the wines to be classic in style.

No one really knows the origin of the grape name, although some believe it to mean bitter red [grape], possibly inspired by the fact that it is an excellent grape to use in the production of dry red wines.

Others think that the name might be a hybrid compound of Latin and Greek meaning red-red [grape], perhaps because Latin and Greek were once spoke in Puglia, a former Greek colony that was ultimately conquered by the Romans.

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